The United Arab Emirates is in talks with the Pentagon to transfer the İncirlik airbase in Turkey’s southern province of Adana to the Gulf kingdom, Middle East Monitor reported on Sept. 21.
Basing its report on the Arabic news site New Khaleej, Middle East Monitor said that the talks are running under the helm of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Mohamed Bin Zayed and the plan aims to consolidate the UAE’s ties with the “deep state” in the U.S.
The UAE is working on economic and military projects in cooperation with the Pentagon and major U.S. economic and financial institutions on the south coast of Yemen and a number of islands, according to the report.
Pentagon spokesman Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Campbell told Turkey’s state-run Anadolu Agency last week that the U.S. “has no plans to end our presence at İncirlik airbase.”
“The U.S. has operated at İncirlik airbase for decades at the invitation of the Turkish government, and our continued presence there demonstrates the ongoing and strong relationship between the United States and our NATO Ally Turkey,” Campbell said in an email exchange with Anadolu Agency.
This statement came following remarks made by U.S. Senator Ron Johnson as he told the Washington Examiner that the U.S. is seeking to increase its presence at the naval base on the Greek island of Crete as an alternative to İncirlik airbase.
“We don’t know what’s gonna happen to İncirlik,” Johnson said. “We hope for the best, but we have to plan for the worst.”
“I don’t think we want to make that strategic shift, but I think, from a defensive posture, I think we have to look at the reality of the situation that the path that [Turkish President Recep Tayyip] Erdoğan is on is not good,” Johnson told The Examiner.