World Bulletin / News Desk
The U.S.-led coalition to combat ISIL will begin to increase its activities at the Incirlik Air Base in southeastern Turkey “in the coming months”, NATO’s supreme allied commander for Europe said Tuesday.
“The coalition intends to increase the operational footprint in Incirlik in the coming months to step up the fight against ISIL,” Air Force Gen. Philip Breedlove said.
Breedlove added that the U.S. Air Force has begun to deploy aircraft and personnel to an air base in Diyarbakir to “better recover” coalition personnel if they are downed while carrying out operations in Iraq and Syria.
Reacting to ongoing instability in Iraq and Syria, and a flare-up in violence between Turkey and the PKK, Breedlove said, “Turkey is confronted by factions of terrorist organizations that threaten their borders not only from the outside but recently as we have seen from the inside as well.
“We stand with our Turks in that every state has the right to defend itself against this terrorism,” he said referring to the PKK terror organization. The comments prompted applause from the audience at the 34th Annual Conference in US.-Turkey relations. "Understanding each other and enhancing our mutual trust and respect has never been more critical.”
Turkey, the U.S. and EU designate the PKK a terrorist organization.
Two Turkish soldiers were killed onTuesday, and three others were injured, when the militants detonated an explosive under a bridge in Turkey’s eastern Hakkari province.
According to Turkish government figures, the PKK has killed approximately 30 civilians since July, while more than 120 members of the security forces have been martyred.
Counting of votes is underway for Turkey’s presidential and parliamentary elections held on Sunday.
Journalists from 34 countries are covering presidential, parliamentary elections in Turkey
Polling in Turkey’s parliamentary and presidential elections ended at 5.00 p.m. (1400GMT)
Binali Yildirim says months of preparations by Turkish election body ensured calm and successful polling
Kemal Kilicdaroglu thanks people who cast votes in Turkey's presidential, parliamentary elections on Sunday
More than 56M Turks were eligible to vote in parliamentary and presidential elections; ballot counting starts
Accused attempted to cast votes using forged ballot papers, officials say
Suleyman Soylu receives latest updates by local authorities via video conference
Half a million security personnel are on election duty, says Interior Ministry
Foreigners did not have accreditation from Turkish government
Recep Tayyip Erdogan hails 'democratic revolution' in country
Private polling booths set up for voters at their homes
Supreme Election Council head says necessary steps taken over election security issues in Sanliurfa province
Abdulhamit Gul says no disruption reported in election process
Main opposition presidential candidate Muharrem Ince cast his vote in northwestern Yalova province