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Turkey brandishes Incirlik card to threaten US

Turkish officials are hinting at denying US access to the Incirlik Air Base unless Washington halts its support for Syrian Kurds and begins to provide air support for Turkish troops in Syria.

Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu renewed calls today for Washington to sever ties with the Syrian Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), the top ally of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, and to provide air support to Turkish forces fighting to dislodge the jihadists from the Syrian town of al-Bab. 

US reticence, Cavusoglu charged, was leading the Turkish people to ask, “Why are you letting these people [the Americans] remain in Incirlik?” Defense Minister Fikri Isik echoed his comments, remarking, “The absence of coalition assistance for the al-Bab operation makes one question [their use of] the Incirlik Air Base.” 

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