Beyond Incirlik

Though Turkey falls within US European Command’s area of responsibility, US Central Command boss Gen. Joseph Votel said the fallout from the attempted coup there is “something to be very, very concerned about.” Speaking at the Aspen Security Forum in Aspen, Colo., on Thursday, Votel said Turkey is a vital partner in the fight against ISIS—beyond just a place where the US military can park and launch its assets—and sits on an important seam between Europe and CENTCOM’s area of responsibility. “Obviously, we’re very dependent on Turkey for basing of our resources, so I’m concerned about that,” he said. But he is also “concerned that it will impact the level of cooperation and collaboration that we have with Turkey, which has been excellent frankly.” He noted the US military has shared intelligence about ISIS activity on Turkey’s border, which the Turkish military then acted upon. Votel said he is worried about the relationships US and Turkish military leaders have built, acknowledging he believes some of those leaders have been jailed by President Recep Erdogan’s government. (See also: Incirlik Ran Low on Reserves During Power Outage.)