7 held in search of Turkish air base used by US

2016-07-18 22:18
This 2015 file photo shows a military aircraft on the runway at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. (Stringer, AFP)

This 2015 file photo shows a military aircraft on the runway at Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. (Stringer, AFP)

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Istanbul - Turkish police on Monday detained seven soldiers after searching a key air base in southern Turkey used by the United States for air raids on the Islamic State group, the state-run Anadolu news agency reported.

Authorities had previously detained a senior air force general and a dozen other suspects at the Incirlik Air Base close to Syria who were accused of backing the failed coup, officials said at the weekend.

Officials have said the authorities suspect that Incirlik was used by rogue troops to refuel military aircraft "hijacked" by the coup plotters on Friday night.

The report did not specify what evidence police and prosecutors were seeking.

The base has become a key hub for US forces after Turkey last year agreed to allow the United States to use Incirlik to carry out lethal raids against jihadists in Syria.

It also houses a major stockpile of nuclear weapons.

Washington said on Sunday that strikes had resumed from the base, after Turkish authorities imposed a security lockdown and closed airspace in the surrounding area.

Read more on:    turkey  |  us  |  syria

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