Counter-Terrorism: Incirlik The Inhospitable

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September 16, 2015: In early September the U.S. Air Force halted the movement of families (of air force personnel) to Incirlik air base in Turkey because of Islamic terrorist groups have threatened to go after civilians as well as military personnel at Incirlik. Technically Turkey is not considered a war zone, but Incirlik is located in an area where secular Kurdish separatist terrorists as well as Islamic terrorists are increasingly active.

This all began in late July when Turkey finally agreed to allow the United States to use Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey (on the Syrian border 56 kilometers from the Mediterranean) for attacks on ISIL in Syria) for air operations against ISIL in Syria. The U.S. has long wanted this. Incirlik has been used by NATO aircraft for decades and will now be used to support all aircraft taking part in the American led coalition attacking ISIL. Turkey is also sending its fighter-bombers after ISIL in Syria.

Incirlik is also one of the six air bases in Turkey where American nuclear bombs (for NATO aircraft) are stored. The base normally has about 5,000 personnel in residence, about 60 percent of them civilians (workers and service personnel families). Incirlik is located in an area long dominated by conservative Moslems. U.S. Air Force personnel have long considered Incirlik a hardship posting because it was so difficult to get a drink, or a date, off base.

 


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