Turkey says US can use air bases for IS fight

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WASHINGTON: Turkey has granted the United States access to its air bases for the campaign against the Islamic State group, including a key installation near the Syrian border, a senior US defense official said.

“Details of usage are still being worked out,” the official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

In southern Turkey, US crews have long operated out of Incirlik Air Base and about 1,500 airmen are stationed there.

US aircraft bombing IS militants in Iraq are reportedly flying out of al-Dhafra Air Base in the United Arab Emirates, Ali al-Salem Air Base in Kuwait and al-Udeid Air Base in Qatar, which is also home to a vital US air combat command center for the region.


At the Combined Air Operations Center (CAOC) in Qatar, US officers oversee airspace authority, air defenses and electronic warfare in 20 regional countries. The Qatar air base, with a 15,000-foot runway and a significant supply of munitions, is a crucial logistical hub.

US F-16 fighter jets also have been stationed in Jordan since last year and the Pentagon has basing agreements with Oman. In addition, the US military can use a base in Diego Garcia for B-52, B-1 and B-2 flights.

AFP

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