With all the convention news taking up the airwaves, little is getting said about Incirlik Airbase in the US. Perhaps this is by design as it might interfere with top level negotiations between NATO, the US, and Turkey. That does not mean that the citizens of the US should not be concerned by the actions and reactions affecting more than 2,700 people – US troops (some list at as many as 1,200), other ally troops, and civilians at the base. I noted in my ARTICLE on July 20, the basic details as I found them at the time. Since then little assurances have leaked out about the conditions or prospects at the base or our soldiers. However, here is a bit more that I have been able to piece together.
At the end of March 2016, Department of Defense issued an order to all families of military personnel at Incirlik to return to the US as they felt the situation there was rapidly deteriorating. Dependents arrived back in the US with the help of Military personnel, USO, and the Red Cross.
FORT MEADE, Md., April 1, 2016 — Military dependents and their pets began arriving at Baltimore-Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport in Maryland. Dependents arriving at BWI were flown on Air Mobility Command’s C-17 Globemaster III aircraft and various chartered flights from Ramstein Air Base, Germany. Airmen from Detachment 1, 305th Aerial Port Squadron, stationed at the airport, played a key role to ensure a smooth transition. Air Force Lt. Col. Bary Flack, the 305th ASP commander, said he was thrilled with how his team assisted families who came in on what the military calls special assignment airlift missions, noting that the Airmen coordinated with numerous agencies and commands at Ramstein and BWI. “The partnership with the BWI airport authorities has been outstanding,” Flack said. “They’ve been great partners.”
June 21, 2016, Veteran’s Today carried an article which as far as I am aware never made headlines. Granted this is an unknown blog site to me, if this wasn’t a clandestine operation should we not have heard about the death? (But then how much has been seen on ISIS claiming to have shot down a US military plane in the western part of Anbar province in Iraq in the last three days by anything other than outer social media blogs?)
“US serviceman murdered near Incirlik airbase, Turkey and US remain silent. This should be major headline news across the globe, an American serviceman murdered by ISIS in a country that is ostensibly a US ally.”
Information came out through Gagrule.net that as of July 12th Germany was considering pulling their forces out at Incirlik.
“Germany may withdraw its troops from the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey after its delegation was barred from visiting the facility, parliamentary speaker Norbert Lammert told local media, Sputnik News reports. “It should probably be underscored again that Bundestag only allows sending German soldiers on international missions abroad when they are needed and welcome there,” Lammert told the German newspaper Sueddeutschen Zeitung. “
On Saturday, July 16, 2016, Turkey cut off external electricity to the base at roughly 7:30 a.m. and all flights in or out were suspended. It also closed the airspace around Incirlik on Saturday, temporarily halting sorties against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Electricity and flights resumed by July 22nd according to Washington Post. Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, commander of Incirlik Air Base was taken to a courthouse in Adana, Turkey, according to Ihlas News Agency/Fatik Kece/via REUTERS.
At the same time after the coup had ended Erdogan began rounding up thousands (last estimate nearly 14,000) who had anything to do with the coup. He also demanded that Fethullah Gulen (CNN report) be extradited from the US saying he was the “mastermind” behind the FETO (Fethullah Terrorist Organization). Erdogan’s demands to the US concerning the cleric Gulen were noted briefly in mainstream media but certainly not much has been said about localized protests against the cleric nor has much else been added.
Erdogan had Gen. Bekir Ercan Van, commander of Incirlik Air Base arrested and apparently later included several more Turkish soldiers at Incirlik after saying they had assisted in refueling aircraft used in the coup. Amnesty International is raising alarms at the treatment of those captured throughout Erdogan’s sweeping revenge rampage citing everything from death to horrific torture and rape. That much has been reported in media from some sources.
At the time issues were raised concerning stored nukes at the base. ConsortiumNews.com on July 20th ran an article by Jonathan Marshall which went into greater detail about the inadvisability of storing of nuclear device weapons in places of such turmoil like Turkey.
“The national security priesthood in Washington has always used claims of superior wisdom and insider knowledge to silence dissent about nuclear policy. But not even they can explain any longer why U.S. nuclear bombs are being stored in politically unstable Turkey as it grows increasingly Islamist and anti-American.”
On July 25th, Reuters ran a short blog describing a raging wildfire near another base.
“A massive fire has erupted near a NATO base within the Buca district in Izmir, western Turkey, local media report. Tweets and live footage included seems to back up their blog. “NATO spokesperson Oana Lungescu has denied the reports of a fire “in or near” territories hosting NATO facilities in Turkey, adding that its HQ “is fully operational.” According to CNN Turk, the fire is threatened a number of populated areas. It took more than seven hours of battling the flames using helicopters and an airplane to contain the blaze. However, it has not yet been fully subdued, several local papers announced.”
Finally as expected, Erdogan’s local media mouthpiece ran an article picked up by Reuters on July 26th ranting on many things from US aided involvement to CIA funds funneled from Nigeria to FETO. Included were allegations of a retired NATO US commander’s involvement in planning and coordinating the coup members. Washington later dismissed accusations that Campbell was the mastermind behind the coup, with White House press secretary Josh Earnest calling the allegations against the general unsubstantiated.
“The Turkish government and President Erdogan are using this as a pretext to put pressure on the US in an effort to get Gulan extradited, the founder and director of the Centre for Turkey Studies and Development in London, Ibrahim Dogus, told RT.”
But hey never fear — Kerry, State Department, NATO, and Department of Defense are on top of the problem. They must be working on it behind closed doors, just not in press releases or mainstream media. It seems outside media (Russian, independence sites, or otherwise) knows or hints at more about our government business than our own government is willing to tell our citizens.
Massive groups of Muslims are moving to surround the Incirlik Base