World Bulletin/News Desk
Turkey is now allowing the U.S. to launch unmanned aircraft to fly over Syria, but traditional warplanes are out of the question, Daily Beast reports.
According to the report, the Turkish government give permission to the U.S.-led coalition for using drones but Incirlik airbase will be close for warplanes bombing ISIL.
U.S. officials working on the diplomacy and intelligence components of the new war tell The Daily Beast that Ankara is still prohibiting the United States from flying manned aircraft from the U.S. airbase in Incirlik, Turkey. Instead, the Turks are allowing only drones to take off from the base.
“They are letting us do a ton of signals work,” a U.S. official working the issue said, using military jargon for the interception of hostile communications. “They have not objected to just about anything on the surveillance side. The fights have been about manned aircraft coming in and out.”
National Security Advisor Susan Rice said Oct. 13 on Meet the Press that Turkey had agreed to let its bases be used in the fight against ISIL, but several senior Turkish officials rushed to deny Rice’s claim.
Secretary of State John Kerry later claimed that the U.S. and Turkey were on the same page. But White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said that there was still no formal agreement between the U.S. and Turkey over using Turkish bases in the fight against ISIL.
One U.S. intelligence official told The Daily Beast that overall Turkey has been willing to allow the United States to fly drones out of Incirlik but has not allowed the United States to fly manned aircraft. Instead, those missions have been flown from other locations and from aircraft carriers stationed in the region.
The Turkish press has also reported that some drones are flying out of Turkey. “There are activities that we are already undertaking jointly from Incirlik, concerning Iraq: the Predators, the reconnaissance flights can continue,” Turkish prime minister Ahmet Davutoglu told Milliyet earlier this month, referring to unmanned aerial vehicles. “But as a base for a more extensive operation — if they are expecting the contribution of any country — we have already made our position clear: there has to be a no-fly zone and a safe haven must be declared,” he said.Güncelleme Tarihi: 17 Ekim 2014, 10:52