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Turkey denies giving U.S. access to Incirlik airbase

Staff Sgt. Rodney Johns marshals an F-16CJ Fighting Falcon to a parking spot at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, after an Operation Northern Watch mission enforcing the northern no-fly-zone over Iraq on Jan. 11, 1999. (www.defense.gov)

Turkey denied on Monday having granted the United States access to its Incirlik air base to be used for attacking Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants in Syria.

A government official said there was no new agreement over the use by the United States of the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, which U.S. air forces already use for logistical and humanitarian purposes.

“There is no new agreement with the United States about Incirlik,” the official, who asked not to be named, told AFP in Ankara.

“Negotiations are continuing” based on conditions Turkey had previously laid out such as a safe zone inside Syria backed up by a no-fly zone, the official added.

“There is no change in our position,” the official said.

Turkey had reached an agreement with Washington on the training of Syrian rebels, the sources told reporters, without saying who would train the insurgents or where.

The comments come after U.S. National Security Adviser Susan Rice said Turkey had agreed to let forces from a U.S.-led military coalition use its bases for activities inside Iraq and Syria and to train moderate Syrian rebels.

ISIS launched an offensive to take over Kobane in mid-September where fighting has killed a reported 500 people and forced 200,000 others to flee across the border into Turkey.

U.N. officials have warned of a possible massacre in Kobane, if the militants capture the city which they have been attacking for the past three weeks.


(With Agencies)

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Last Update: Monday, 13 October 2014 KSA 18:17 - GMT 15:17
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Turkey denies giving U.S. access to Incirlik airbase
The Turkish decision comes as Syrian Kurdish fighters are engaged in fierce fighting with ISIS militants in Kobane
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