House Homeland Security chairman worried about U.S. air base in Turkey

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House Homeland Security Chairman Michael McCaul expressed concern Friday evening for the safety of the U.S. air base in Incirlik, Turkey, after the Turkish military “fully seized control” of the country during a coup initiated late Friday local time.

“If this has happened, my concern is our air base over there. And then being a NATO ally, will the military that has taken over support our military base being there?” McCaul said to CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer.

The Texas Republican said the Turkish military’s sudden power grab was likely motivated by tensions with President Recep Tayyip Erdogan, who tried to reform the hierarchy of the country’s defense ministry.

“I think that tensions have always been there, but the [Islamic State] attacks recently along with the Russians being in that space is driving it, in my judgment,” McCaul said. “They conduct the air strikes from Turkey into Iraq and Syria. We don’t want it to jeopardize these operations.”

The Incirlik Air Base has not issued a statement on the situation or instructions for the couple of thousand military at the facility.

Top Story

Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim said a military group launched an attempted coup.

By Jacqueline Klimas

07/15/16 4:10 PM

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