US Relocating Incirlik and Al-Udaid Air Bases? CENTCOM Denies
According to the Wall Street Journal, the US has “scaled back” combat operations out of Incirlik Airbase in Turkey. Debka reports say that Al-Udaid Airbase in Qatar is being moved to Saudi Arabia, after the Crown Prince met with Trump on March 20. But US Central Command denies it all.
The US is not leaving Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, nor is the US leaving Al Udeid AB, Qatar. These reports are false and without merit.
— U.S. Central Command (@CENTCOM) March 25, 2018
There is zero credibility to news reports asserting the U.S. is leaving Incirlik and Al Udeid AB in Turkey and Qatar. These reports are unhelpful and feed mistrust and division among regional partners at a time when we need to work together to address shared security concerns.
— Dana W. White – DoD (@ChiefPentSpox) March 25, 2018
— U.S European Command (@US_EUCOM) March 25, 2018
The current rift with Turkey’s Tayyip Erdogan over his policy of eradicating the Kurds has pushed a wedge between the US and Turkey as NATO “allies.” On March 18, Turkish forces claimed to have taken the city of Afrin from the YPG- Kurdish Peshmerga. No amount of talking seems to have moved Turkey from believing that the Peshmerga are allies of the terrorist PKK Kurdish group.
In January, we reported that Turkey had been targeting areas of Syria near where US forces were working. It’s a rift between the US and Turkey that seems to have created a problem.
Military Times reported,
Erdogan has focused his efforts away from ISIS’ remaining strongholds and towards the Kurdish enclave in Afrin, Syria, against the wishes of U.S. officials. The enclave houses Kurdish militias that Turkey views as allies of the Kurdistan Workers’ Party, or PKK, a separatist group within Turkey.
Informal restrictions by the Turkish military that make using the runway at Incirlik difficult, along with a deteriorating relationship between the two governments, contributed to a decision to scale back operations at the base…
US is not leaving İncirlik Air Base | https://t.co/RBjXe335SN@CENTCOM denies reports that the U.S. is abandoning Turkey’s Incirlik base. Though somehow it does not deny claims that it is reducing its presence dramatically in Incirlik.
— ilhan tanir (@WashingtonPoint) March 25, 2018
It’s tough to fight the rampant rumors, however, and the pressure to leave is mounting. The Debka File alleged that the US is looking at moving Al-Udaid to 117CW in Andravida, Greece. Gulf News Media aawsat.com reported on March 12, that Congress was reviewing the moving proposal. The contract between Qatar and the use of Al-Udaid expires in 2023. It is unlikely that the airbase would move prior to the end of the contract.
💥Following a meeting btw Saudi CP&Trump:
The #US has started shifting its air base in #Qatar to #SaudiArabia, according to Israeli intel. website DEBKAfile quoting military sources.
US is also packing up its air force&quitting Incirlik air base in #Turkeyhttps://t.co/FPVBfe72M4 pic.twitter.com/oq5J0GZv9u
— Hasan Sari (@HasanSari7) March 25, 2018
Qatar is well known for financing terrorists. Turkey has malfunctioned in its relationship to the US by targeting our allies and endangering our troops. Some say our airbases are “flanked” by the hostile forces.
Actually you are wrong. You are 100% going to leave Incirlik Air Base in nearby future. You just haven’t figured it out yet. #CluelessPolicy
— GHoeberX (@ghoeberx) March 25, 2018
The Communist Party of Turkey demands: “Leave NATO, close down Incirlik base!” https://t.co/0jPVsrAFSE #Turkey #NATO #TKP #AntiNATO #Incirlik #Imperialism#Campaign #Turkiye #Erdogan #Socialism #Communism pic.twitter.com/XlshpzXvQM
— In Def. of Communism (@id_communism) March 17, 2018
Yet there is a valid, substantive argument for pulling out of Incirlik. Turkey is teetering on the edge of ally / adversary, leaning towards the latter.
— Ted (@_Jedburgh) March 25, 2018
— Mourad Teyeb (@MouradTeyeb) March 25, 2018