Turkey offers U.S. access to other air bases: diplomat

Turkey has offered the U.S. access to additional air bases in less than one month after it accepted U.S. use of Incirlik

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Turkey has offered the United States additional access to its air bases in the southeast after it accepted Washington’s long-pending request to use the Muslim NATO member’s Incirlik base in Adana province to launch airstrikes against Islamist militants, an Ankara-based senior Western diplomat told a Turkish daily in an interview published Thursday.

“There is an offer [from the Turkish side] to make use of additional bases,” the diplomat, who spoke under the condition of anonymity, told Today’s Zaman.

Military officials from the Turkish and U.S. sides have been examining the offer, he added.

Turkey changed its position after a bombing in a border town and killing of a Turkish soldier in cross-frontier clashes.

Meanwhile, the Pentagon said on Wednesday the U.S. military had carried out its first drone strike from a base in Turkey against ISIS targets in Syria. Thursday’s statement said the strikes were carried out by fighter planes, fighter-attack aircraft and drones, but did not say where they took off from.

Before allowing the U.S. to use Incirlik, U.S. used Turkish bases only to fly surveillance flights over Syria.

Also read: The United States and it allies conducted 27 airstrikes against ISIS militants in Syria and Iraq.