Last updated: 27 October, 2012

No Syria-related US military presence in Turkey

The United States has not deployed any military personnel or units in Turkey in connection with the crisis in Syria, the Turkish army said in a statement Saturday.

The headquarters of the Turkish armed forces denied press reports that US military personnel had been sent to the country following increasing tension along its border with Syria.

“There are neither military personnel nor units deployed in Turkey beyond those at the base at Incirlik (in the southern province of Adana) and those at Kurecik (in the southeastern province of Malatya, home to a NATO radar installation)and those at the American embassy in Ankara,” the statement said.

In recent days Turkish media have reported remarks attributed to US Lieutenant General Mark Hertling, commander of the US army in Europe, referring to the dispatch of an American contingent to Turkey as part of a strategy of sharing and pooling information between the two countries, both NATO members.

Turkey is backing the insurgents in Syria.

At the start of October, a Syrian mortar bomb killed five Turkish nationals at a village in the southeast of the country near the border. Since then the Turkish forces have riposted each time a mortar bomb or shell has been from Syrian soil.