Movement in and out of the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey has been closed by local military authorities. The NATO base stores US tactical nuclear weapons.
“Local authorities are denying movements on to and off of Incirlik Air Base. The power there has also been cut,” the US consulate in Adana said in a message.
“Please avoid the air base until normal operations have been restored,” it added. No further details were provided.
According to CNN, airspace over the area has also been closed and power to the facility has been cut.
The closure of the airspace has reportedly led to a halt in US air strikes against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). CNN was told by sources that the Turkish authorities did make an exception for US aircraft that had already been deployed on missions before the airspace was shut and allowed them to land at the base.
The air space will be closed until Turkish authorities gain full control over the situation in the region following the coup attempt, Turkish officials told the US, adding that they want to make sure that all elements of the Turkish air force are under the control of pro-government forces, as some warplanes and helicopters were used by rebels overnight.
After the anti-coup operations at the Incirlik base are completed, Turkey will continue its aerial operations against Islamic State within the US-led coalition, the Turkish foreign minister said, as reported by Reuters.
According to earlier reports, there were soldiers at the base involved in the coup attempt who have already been arrested.
The US will continue to cooperate with Turkey in its fight against Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL), US Secretary of State John Kerry said during his visit to Luxemburg.
US cooperation with Turkey within NATO, as well as in operations in Syria, has not been affected by the coup attempt, Kerry said, adding that the cooperation “continues as before.”
Meanwhile, US Central Command (CENTCOM) is now adjusting its operations against Islamic State (IS, former ISIS/ISIL) to account for the lockdown at Incirlik airbase, TASS reports, citing sources in Pentagon.
US controlled faction
Ankara mayor Melih Gocek stated the officer who shot down the Russian fighter jet was arrested as one of the coup organizers. “We have not realeased this information yet, however, this is a fact, it is this faction (the coup plotters) who ruined our relations with Russia. It’s obvious who they worked for” stated Gocek for CNN Turk.
Meanwhile, the Turkish Government indirectly pointed his finger to the US and the man behind the coup (Fetula Gulen), stating: “I do not see any country that would stand behind this man, this leader of the terrorist gang, especially after last night. The country that would stand behind this man is no friend to Turkey. It would even be a hostile act against Turkey,” Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım told reporters on Saturday, as Turkey was recovering from overnight violence.