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Turkey Denies Deal With U.S. on Using Air Bases Against ISIS

Turkey denied any deal with the U.S. on using its bases for operations against ISIS - contradicting White House claims it had made "a commitment."
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Turkey on Monday denied any deal with the United States on use of its bases for operations against ISIS, according to reports — contradicting National Security Adviser Susan Rice, who said Ankara had “made a commitment” over the issue. "There is no decision at the moment concerning Incirlik or any other issue," foreign minister Mevlut Cavusoglu told state-run Andalou Agency in reference to a key air base in southern Turkey.

His comments came only 24 hours after Rice told NBC News' "Meet The Press" that the Turks had “in the last several days, made a commitment that they will in the first instance allow the United States and our partners to use Turkish bases and territory to train …moderate Syrian opposition forces.” She added: "In addition, they have said that their facilities inside of Turkey can be used by the coalition forces, American and otherwise, to engage in activities inside of Iraq and Syria. That's the new commitment, and one that we very much welcome.”

There was no immediate explanation for the differing claims, but Turkey has faced internal criticism over its response to ISIS, including some anti-U.S. protests at the weekend. In comments published Sunday in the Milliyet newspaper, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu said the Incirlik air base was already being used for reconnaissance purposes in Iraq but suggested its use for wider operations would depend on whether Turkey's demands for a no-fly zone and a safe zone in Syria are met.


— Andrea Mitchell, Abigail Williams and Alastair Jamieson

The Associated Press contributed to this report.