Turkey searches air base used by US army over failed coup

July 19, 2016 6:30 am

A German Tornado jet is pictured in a hangar at the Incirlik air base in , on January 21, 2016. (AFP)

Turkish
police investigators have entered and searched the Incirlik air base in
the south of the country in connection with the recent failed coup.

According
to Turkish media on Monday, seven soldiers were arrested after
prosecutors and police searched the base, which is jointly used by
Turkish and -led forces to allegedly target Daesh terrorists.
The
so-called multinational task force against Daesh started its
controversial mission in Iraq in late 2014 after Daesh seized control
over territories west and north of the country. The air campaign was
later expanded to cover areas in northern Syria despite criticism
from the Syrian government that the attacks violate the sovereignty of
the Arab country.
Earlier in the
week, the commander of the Incirlik base, General Bekir Ercan Van, was
arrested along with over a dozen of his officers over accusations of
complicity in the coup.
At least
one of the F-16 jets commandeered by coup plotters was reportedly
refueled by a plane which had taken off from the base.  
Turkey has also disconnected the base’s electricity, forcing it to revert to internal power sources.
The
botched putsch began late on July 15, when a faction of the Turkish
military blocked Istanbul’s iconic Bosphorus Bridge and strafed the
headquarters of the Turkish intelligence agency and parliament in the
capital.
Tanks, helicopters, and soldiers clashed with police and people on the streets of the two main cities.

An
armed Turkish police officer stands guard during a funeral ceremony for
victims of the failed July 15 coup attempt in Ankara on July 17,
2016. (AFP)

Turkey
has been engaged in a sweeping crackdown on those believed to have
played a role in the coup attempt which has left more than 200 people
dead. Officials said more than 100 plotters were also killed until the
government rule was restored on Saturday.
Meanwhile,
Ankara has dismissed a total of 8,777 public personnel and arrested
7,500 suspects since the coup against the government was declared over
two days ago.

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