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Turkey denies deal with US to use its airbases against Islamic State fighters

October 14, 2014 at 12:01 pm

Turkish officials reiterated on Monday that a deal had not been reached with the US to allow it to use Turkey’s air bases for operations against the Islamic State.

“We approach this issue from a comprehensive perspective, including safe havens and a no-fly zone to be established in the region,” an official working in the office of Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu told the New York Times newspaper, speaking on the condition of anonymity.

Despite recent suggestions from the Obama administration that a deal with Turkey had been reached, Turkey’s Deputy Prime Minister Bulent Arinc clarified that: “Apart from the existing cooperation in combatting terrorism, there is no new situation concerning Incirlik air base,” referring to a US Air Force base in southern Turkey not far from the Syrian border.

Commenting on the violent pro-Kurdish street protests in Turkey, which has so far resulted in more than 30 deaths, Arinc said that the situation is “very distressing” and the Turkish authorities would take all the necessary measures to make sure that the violence would not occur again.