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Germany mulling transfer of forces from Incirlik amid row with Turkey

Wednesday, May 17, 2017 10:35
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DEBKAfile was founded by a team of journalists in June 2000 as an independent Internet Web site, providing an intelligence and security news service. May 17, 2017, 8:24 PM (IDT)

With tensions rising between Bonn and Ankara over Turkey’s refusal to allow German parliamentarians to visit German troops at the Incirlik airbase, Germany’s defense minister said Wednesday that her ministry is considering shifting the forces to another location in the region. There are eight sites under consideration, including ones in Cyprus and Jordan, Ursula von der Leyen said. A team representing the ministry is currently visiting Jordan to inspect a possible site for the planes supporting coalition operations against Islamic State, according to the minister.
Meanwhile, German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel said on Wednesday regarding the ongoing row that if “the German parliament is to be blackmailed, then the limit of tolerance has been reached”. He said Germany’s parliament “will certainly not leave soldiers in Turkey” if the Turkish government does not change its mind in the coming days.
Turkey refused to allow the visit to the approximately 250 German troops at the airbase in southern Turkey after Germany granted asylum to a number of Turkish soldiers who Ankara claims were involved in a failed coup in 2016.

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