Despite issues, Turkish military bases still key for US: Analyst

Despite the personal rapport often shared by their leaders, Turkey and the U.S. are currently at odds over a number of issues, but the U.S. interest in bases on Turkish soil endures, according to a foreign policy analyst.

The U.S. Congress is currently trying to pressure Turkey with sanctions over a number of recent choices it made, including purchasing a Russian S-400 missile defense system, launching its anti-terror Operation Peace Spring in northern Syria this October, rejecting congressional recognition of Armenian claims over the incidents of 1915, and blasting U.S. support for the YPG/PKK terror group in northern Syria.

In response to the U.S. moves, Turkey recently announced it "might" consider shutting down two key military bases located in southeastern Turkey that play an important role in NATO and the U.S. missions and operations in the Middle East.

Located in Turkey's Adana province just 110 kilometers (68 miles) from the Syrian border, İncirlik Air Base has been a strategic element since its establishment in 1954 as it played major roles during the Cold War, 1990-1911 Gulf War, and U.S.-led Operation Inherent Resolve targeting ISIL elements in Syria and Iraq.

Kürecik, a radar station located in the Malatya province, was used for three decades until the 1991 breakup of the Soviet Union for NATO to counter ballistic missiles. What makes it vital for NATO -- which Turkey has been a member of for nearly 70 years -- is that the AN/TPY-2 radar (Army/Navy Transportable Surveillance) deployed in Kürecik can shield ballistic missiles fired from Russia and Iran as well as protect NATO members.

A political tension often blamed on internal U.S. political rivalries currently dominates ties, but this has ended up making Turkey...

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