Turkey tries to strong-arm the US with an airbase holding American nuclear arms

Incirlik airbase Turkey
Support us and go ad-free

Turkey has sunk to yet another low point. Government ministers have issued more statements attacking the US, this time threatening its NATO ally’s continued use of a key airbase if it keeps supporting forces leading the fight against Daesh (Isis/Isil) in Syria. The Turkish regime has also taken its own steps to undermine Kurdish-led anti-terrorist forces.

Turkey threatens US airbase

Turkish Defence Minister Fikri Isik warned that the US would “pay the price” for its strategic support of the PYD (Democratic Union Party), the main political force behind the secular, gender egalitarian, and multi-ethnic Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria. The US has provided logistical support and special forces support to the YPG (People’s Protection Units). These have long been the main frontline attack forces against Daesh in Syria.

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu, meanwhile, recently questioned America’s use of the Incirlik airbase in Turkey, which is home to 50-90 nuclear missiles. Cavusoglu suggested that the US should be more involved in Turkey’s current military campaign in Syria, which is partially aimed at the YPG.

Hints that Ankara could close the base to the US if it doesn’t fully back Turkey’s current aims may be more of a warning shot. The hope may be, for example, that US President-elect Donald Trump will adhere to Turkish demands and cease its support for the YPG-led SDF (Syrian Democratic Forces). But bargaining with a base that stores nuclear weapons is never a good sign.

Undermining anti-terrorist forces in Iraq

Separately, Turkey has reached an understanding with the Kurdish Regional Government in Iraq to expel the Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) from Yazidi land, whether or not the Yazidis approve. The Turkish state is currently at war with the PKK, which is an ally of the PYD.

The Democratic Yazidi Society Coordination, which met in the town of Shengal (Sinjar) in late December, demanded that:

…the UN, EU and other international organisations function as guarantor parties, and that the PKK, which is an effective national force in the fight against ISIS, continues to defend our society.

Read on...

Support us and go ad-free

The group added that it was the PKK and its allies that rescued the Yazidis when Daesh launched a massive offensive against Yazidi communities in August 2014, massacring thousands around Shengal. Also, that it is the desire of the Yazidis to seek political autonomy. In response, the Diplomacy Committee of the Kurdistan Communities Union (KCK) – an umbrella organisation associated with the PKK – said that PKK fighters will only leave Shengal when it is under Yazidi control.

Once again, Turkey is showing that it is more interested in defeating hopes of Kurdish autonomy than respecting its neighbours. And its threats to the US are no doubt timed in the hope that President-elect Trump will, once in office, allow Turkey to do whatever it wants.

Get Involved!

– Read more Canary articles on Turkey and Rojava (the main constituent member of the Democratic Federal System of Northern Syria).

– Donate to the Rojava Plan (to support the system of self-government in place in northern Syria).

Support The Canary as we seek to amplify the voices of oppressed people around the world.

Featured image via Flickr Creative Commons

Support us and go ad-free

We need your help to keep speaking the truth

Every story that you have come to us with; each injustice you have asked us to investigate; every campaign we have fought; each of your unheard voices we amplified; we do this for you. We are making a difference on your behalf.

Our fight is your fight. You’ve supported our collective struggle every time you gave us a like; and every time you shared our work across social media. Now we need you to support us with a monthly donation.

We have published nearly 2,000 articles and over 50 films in 2021. And we want to do this and more in 2022 but we don’t have enough money to go on at this pace. So, if you value our work and want us to continue then please join us and be part of The Canary family.

In return, you get:

* Advert free reading experience
* Quarterly group video call with the Editor-in-Chief
* Behind the scenes monthly e-newsletter
* 20% discount in our shop

Almost all of our spending goes to the people who make The Canary’s content. So your contribution directly supports our writers and enables us to continue to do what we do: speaking truth, powered by you. We have weathered many attempts to shut us down and silence our vital opposition to an increasingly fascist government and right-wing mainstream media.

With your help we can continue:

* Holding political and state power to account
* Advocating for the people the system marginalises
* Being a media outlet that upholds the highest standards
* Campaigning on the issues others won’t
* Putting your lives central to everything we do

We are a drop of truth in an ocean of deceit. But we can’t do this without your support. So please, can you help us continue the fight?

The Canary Support us

Comments are closed