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Turkey could bar US from using 2 key air bases over possible sanctions, FM Cavusoglu warns

Turkey could bar US from using 2 key air bases over possible sanctions, FM Cavusoglu warns

Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said on Wednesday that the United States could be barred from using two strategic air bases in retaliation for possible US sanctions, the state-run Anadolu Agency reported.

The comments came amid reports that US lawmakers had agreed on a defense bill that also includes calls to sanction Turkey over its decision to proceed with the purchase and deployment of Russian-made S-400 missile defense systems, AP said.

“In the event of a decision to sanction Turkey, the Incirlik and Kurecik air bases can be brought to the agenda,” Cavusoglu was quoted as saying. “Congress members must understand that it is not possible to get anywhere with sanctions,” he added.

Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey has been a main base for US operations in the Middle East and more recently in the fight against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS) in Syria and Iraq. Kurecik, in eastern Turkey, is a key NATO base.