Berlin, Germany. Having a long history of dealing with dictators, the German government has decided to move its aircraft and men from Turkey to a new location in Jordan, after recent problems with “mad dog” Erdogan. Germany says it will pull out its troops and aircraft from a Turkish airbase in July and move them to a base in Jordan, following a bitter dispute over Turkey’s refusal to allow German lawmakers to visit the soldiers at the base.
Germany deployed the Luftwaffe forces to the Turkish airbase in December 2015, as part of a US-led coalition that has purportedly been fighting the Takfiri Daesh terrorist group in Iraq and Syria as part of a NATO committment to America.
Berlin started to look for possible alternatives for the base as its ties with Ankara took a new hit in mid-May, when Turkey for the second time blocked a scheduled meeting of German lawmakers with the German soldiers stationed at the base.
The German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen said on Sunday that the troops as well as tanker aircraft and jets will begin pulling out from the Turkish air base in Incirlik and will be moving to Jordan’s Muwaffaq Salti airbase.
Merkel’s Luftwaffe has about 280 troops stationed at the Incirlik airbase along with six Tornado fighter jets and a tanker plane used for refueling, while not a huge deployment, more can follow quickly, Von der Leyen says.
Von der Leyen said the military plans to carry out operations against Daesh militants are set until the end of June. “After that, we’ll be transferring our tanker aircraft as quickly as possible to Jordan.”
The new airbase in Jordan, which is now to host the German forces, is situated near the northern town of al-Azraq. It had been used by Belgian fighter jets between 2014 and 2015 and is currently being used by US and Dutch forces.