The U.S. military evacuated Turkey’s İncirlik Air base before Operation Olive Branch, which was launched on Jan. 20, by moving its F-15, F-16 and A-10 attack jets, leaving only refueling aircraft and three helicopters at the base, according to a former brigadier general of the Turkish Air Forces.
Brigadier General Beyazit Karataş, in an interview with Yeni Şafak daily, said that the evacuation took place on Jan. 19 during a midnight operation where the jets were moved to other bases.
“Later, 12 A-10 bombers, which the Pentagon first planned to send to the Incirlik Airbase, were sent to the Kandahar Base in Afghanistan,” he added.
Incirlik Air base was used during the 15 July coup attempt to aid terrorists of the Fetullah Terrorist Organization (FETÖ) as well as to provide logistics support to Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK) in Syria.
‘US not supporting war against PKK terrorists’
According to the report prepared by the U.S. Department of Defense, “The aircraft originally slated to deploy to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey have been redirected to Afghanistan’s Kandahar because the fight against Daesh was 98 percent complete.”
Karataş stated, “With this attitude, the U.S. showed that they are not with Turkey in the war against PKK terrorists. Washington has once again displayed its double standards for terrorist organizations.”
He pointed out that the Pentagon-CIA alliance did not want to lose control in Manbij, which is why they are trying to search for new alliances in the region without a proper justification about situation in Manbij.
“The U.S. will resort to dirtier tactics from now on. They have been destabilizing first the Gulf, and later on Syria for almost 30 years now. The U.S. has been unable to explain these operations to even the U.S. public and lies to their own public about the costs of these operations,” he said.
‘Turkey has not displayed its full strength yet’
“The Turkish Armed Forces (TAF) used only 10 percent of its power during the 58 days of battle in Afrin as 50 percent the terror corridor was negated during the operation. This will increase to 80 percent with the operations in Manbij and Tel Abayd. It is obvious that the U.S. will try to hinder these operations with various attempts, but we can overcome it,” he said.
Operation Olive Branch was initiated on Jan. 20 in Afrin to establish security and stability, eliminate PKK/KCK/PYD-YPG and Daesh terrorists, and save locals from their oppression and cruelty.
Afrin has been a major hideout for the PYD/PKK since July 2012, when the Assad regime in Syria left the city to the terror group without putting up a fight.
The PKK is listed as a terrorist organization by Turkey, the European Union and the United States. The PKK has been conducting armed violence in the southeastern part of Turkey since 1984. More than 40,000 people, mostly civilians, have been killed in the three-decade long conflict.