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Turkey warns US, threatens to close down military base

Turkey’s President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to close two strategic military bases used by the United States in Turkey. The warning came after Washington warned of sanctions over Ankara buying Russian arms. Erdogan has regularly raised this possibility in the past, at times of tension between the two countries. The US air force uses the airbase at Incirlik for raids on positions held by the so-called Islamic State group in Syria. The Kurecik base houses a major NATO radar station. Turkey’s Foreign Minister has raised the issue of the bases last week. Responding to the US threat of fresh sanctions, he warned that their closure could be “put on the table”. Turkey faces US sanctions over its decision to buy the Russian S-400 missile defence system, despite warnings from Washington. And on Friday, Turkey summoned the US ambassador after the US Senate followed the lower house and voted to recognise the 1915 killings of Armenians as genocide. The bill is yet to be signed by US President Donald Trump.

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