NATO Splinters: Germany Says “Has No Choice But To Pull Out” Troops From Turkey’s Incirlik Airbase

 

Diplomatic relations between NATO members Germany and Turkey hit rock bottom on Monday when Germany’s foreign minister Sigmar Gabriel said his country has no choice but to begin the process of pulling its forces out of Turkey’s Incirlik air force base as the Turkish government will not allow all German lawmakers to visit troops there.

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The scandal erupted last Thursday, when Turkey’s foreign minister said it is not possible to allow German lawmakers to visit troops stationed at Turkey’s Incirlik air base now, although he said Ankara may reconsider if it sees “positive steps” from Berlin. It was not immediately clear just what Turkey’s “demands” or expectations, monetary or otherwise, were from Merkel for it to change its view. Ties between the NATO allies deteriorated sharply in the run-up to Turkey’s April 16 referendum that handed President Tayyip Erdogan stronger presidential powers.

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Turkey Transfers Chemical Weapons Personnel to Syrian Border

According to the Doğan News Agency and Hürriyet Daily News, Turkey’s military has deployed teams trained to deal with chemical weapons attacks to the Syrian border. This follows a warning by Damascus that it may use these weapons in the event of an attack from outside the country. The chemical weapons battalion, previously based in western Turkey, was transferred to Konya in central Turkey two months ago. One group of personnel has now been moved to the Syrian border.

Ankara is particularly concerned by the situation in Qamishli, a town on Turkish border adjoining Nusaybin, because the PYD is concentrated there. There have been reports that the PYD is preparing to take control of the town from the Syrian administration as it has in Kobane, Efrine, and Amude in the city of al-Hasakah.

Full article: Turkey Transfers Chemical Weapons Personnel to Syrian Border (Gatestone Institute)