The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) on Sunday denied reports it was leaving the Incirlik base in southern Turkey’s Adana province and the Al Udeid base in Qatar.
“The U.S. is not leaving Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, nor is the U.S. leaving Al Udeid AB, Qatar. These reports are false and without merit,” CENTCOM posted on its official Twitter page.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Air Forces Central Command (AFCENT) also tweeted that all such reports had “zero credibility”.
“There is zero credibility to news reports asserting the U.S. is leaving Incirlik and Al Udeid air bases in Turkey and Qatar.
“These unhelpful reports feed mistrust and division among regional partners at a time when we need to work together to address shared security concerns,” it said.
The Pentagon had said in the past that the diplomatic row between the U.S. and Turkey did not affect American operations or personnel in Turkey.
“The Turkish Air Force base in Incirlik continues to fulfill an important role supporting NATO and coalition efforts,” spokesman Col. Rob Manning had told reporters in October last year.
“Coalition counter-ISIS [Daesh] operations out of Incirlik and other Turkish facilities are closely coordinated with and have the full support of our Turkish partners,” he added.
Turkey and the U.S. have been trying to iron out a number of issues, principally concerning the terrorist YPG/PKK in Syria, a group the U.S. has worked with, calling it a “reliable ally” in the fight against Daesh.
Ankara considers the YPG/PKK as the Syrian offshoot of the PKK terror organization that has waged a more than a 30-year war against the Turkish state.