US Contracts Turkish Firms For Long-Term Projects On Incirlik Air Base Amid Closure Fears

US Contracts Turkish Firms for Long-Term Projects on Incirlik Air Base Amid Closure Fears

The US Department of Defense has awarded eight Turkish companies a total of $95 million for construction work and other projects on Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey

MOSCOW (UrduPoint News / Sputnik - 24th December, 2019) The US Department of Defense has awarded eight Turkish companies a total of $95 million for construction work and other projects on Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.

The announcement comes despite Ankara and Washington growing at odds over several issues, causing Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan to threaten shutting the base down in recent weeks.

The Pentagon's website posted information on eight Turkish companies that "have been awarded a $95,000,000 multiple award firm-fixed-price, indefinite-order/indefinite-quantity contract for design-build, partial design and full design infrastructure requirements."

The contract information page also said that the work will involve the general construction of the military base's facilities and is expected to be completed by December 2024, thereby demonstrating the Pentagon's long-term plans of remaining in Turkey.

In October, The New York Times revealed internal communications between the Pentagon and the Department of Energy regarding a plan to withdraw the nearly 50 tactical nuclear warheads available in Incirlik, thereby "effectively ending" the two countries' military alliance.

The plan, made on the heels of Turkey's operation in northern Syria, never came to fruition, but the fate of the airbase remained a target for a subsequent falling out between Washington and Ankara.

Both Erdogan and Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu in a television appearance said that they were willing to review the status of the Incirlik Air Base, along with NATO radar station Kurecik, if Washington were to move forward with imposing sanctions on Ankara for its purchase and installation of Russian S-400 air defense systems.

Foreign policy experts, speaking with Sputnik, have said that Turkey is unlikely to shut down the air base, as it would not be in its interest to sever the strategic Cold War-era strategic alliance.

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