The Department of Defense on Tuesday denied feedback from a senior senator who instructed the U.S. is increase its capability on a Greek island as a looming substitute for its presence at a Turkish air base.
Pentagon spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Campbell instructed Anadolu Agency the U.S. “has no plans to finish our presence at Incirlik Air Base” after Senator Ron Johnson instructed the Washington Examiner newspaper that the U.S. is increase its presence at a naval base in Crete as a substitute.
“The U.S. has operated at Incirlik Air Base for many years on the invitation of the Turkish authorities, and our continued presence there demonstrates the continued and robust relationship between the United States and our NATO Ally Turkey,” Campbell stated in an e-mail trade.
Johnson, an influential Republican senator who chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee, stated in an interview printed final week that U.S. officers are ramping up efforts to go away Incirlik amid tensions between Washington and Ankara which have been exacerbated by a sequence of points.
Those embody U.S. assist for the YPG, the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terrorist group, Turkey’s buy of a sophisticated Russian air protection system and the next U.S. resolution to take away Turkey from the F-35 joint strike fighter program.
“We don’t know what’s going to occur to Incirlik. We hope for the most effective, however we now have to plan for the worst,” Ron Johnson, the chair of the Senate Foreign Relations subcommittee for Europe, instructed the Washington Examiner on Sept. 11.
Johnson famous that the U.S. desires to preserve full presence and cooperation in Turkey and wouldn’t need to “make that strategic shift.”
“We’re already taking a look at Greece as a substitute,” Johnson stated, including that the U.S. is growing its presence in Souda Bay on the Greek island of Crete.
The Greek and American armies are planning to maintain a joint navy train close to the area of Western Thrace, the place Greece’s Turkish minority lives, stories from Athens stated Monday.
Located in Turkey’s Adana province simply 110 kilometers (about 68 miles) from the Syrian border, Incirlik Air Base has been a strategic ingredient since its institution in 1954 because it performed main roles through the Cold War, the 1990-1991 Gulf War and the U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve concentrating on Daesh parts in Syria and Iraq.