Starting today at noon, the German Armed Forces began moving its military aircraft and soldiers from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey to an airbase in Jordan, as reported by Der Spiegel German news site.
The first military aircraft to be moved will be two supply airplanes which will be transferred to an air base near Azraq in Jordan which is the first part of a step-by-step withdrawal from Incirlik Air Base as reported by Turkey’s Daily Sabah.
In the next step, German planes used in aerial missions against ISIS in Syria and Iraq will be relocated to Jordan along with approximately 260 German troops.
Six German Tornado surveillance jets and a tanker aircraft have been stationed at Incirlik Air base since 2015 as well as its refueling and reconnaissance aircraft.
Deputies from parliament’s defense committee had asked on multiple occasions to inspect some 260 German airmen at the base, but were refused.
Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu said that German lawmakers could visit their troops at the NATO base in Konya, but not at the Turkish base in Incirlik, the Turkish Hurriyet Daily News reported early last month.
Germany’s Foreign Office tweeted that, as a result of Turkey’s refusal to permit the visit, “we will have to re deploy military staff.”
Ankara became angry when Berlin had previously banned Turkish politicians from campaigning in Germany ahead of Turkey’s constitutional referendum citing security concerns. Turkey responded to the ban by accusing Berlin of “Nazi-like” tactics which just fueled disputes over Incirlik.
Germany, as a member of the US-led international coalition against ISIS in Iraq and Syria and per its agreement with Turkey, used the airbase to station its jets. The coalition by air supports the Kurdish Peshmerga and Kurdish-majority Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) ground fighters.