The escalating diplomatic row between Washington and Ankara has so far not impacted NATO or US military ties with Turkey, the Pentagon said Tuesday.
The United States relies heavily on an air base at Incirlik in southern Turkey to launch air strikes against the Islamic State group in neighboring Syria and Iraq.
“The Turkish air force base in Incirlik continues to fulfill an important role supporting NATO and coalition efforts,” Pentagon spokesman Colonel Rob Manning said.
“Coalition counter-IS operations out of Incirlik and other Turkish facilities are closely coordinated with and have the full support of our Turkish partners. Our joint and separate activities will remain closely coordinated.”
The diplomatic spat erupted last week when Turkey arrested a Turkish employee of the American consulate on suspicion of links to the group blamed for last year’s failed coup.
In response, the United States stopped issuing non-immigrant visas from its missions in Turkey, prompting Turkish missions in the United States to hit back with a tit-for-tat step of their own.
“Turkey is a strong coalition partner and close NATO ally,” Manning stressed.
“I can confirm that these developments have not impacted our operations or personnel.”