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Despite Looming Closure of Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, Pentagon Grants $95 Million on Its Upgrades

© AP PhotoU. S. Air Force airmen walk toward fighter jets after Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey (File)
U. S. Air Force airmen walk toward fighter jets after Defense Secretary Ash Carter visited the Incirlik Air Base near Adana, Turkey (File) - Sputnik International
Ankara threatened to close two of its bases currently utilised by US servicemen if Washington follows through with its promise of imposing sanctions against Turkey over the purchase of Russian S-400 air defence systems.

The US Department of Defence has awarded eight Turkish companies several contracts worth a total of $95 million to upgrade Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, which the country's government threatened to close over disagreements with Washington.

"[Companies] 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.  Work will consist of multiple disciplines in general construction categories for the military base facilities of Air Force and support units within Turkey", the Pentagon's website says.

These contracts are apparently not short-term projects, as their completion date has been set for 31 December 2024, and may indicate that the Pentagon does not consider it likely that Turkey will carry out its threats. 

S-400 Row and Exchange of Threats

US lawmakers have recently introduced 'Promoting American National Security and Preventing the Resurgence of ISIS Act', which authorizes the introduction of economic sanctions against Turkey over its decision to buy Russian S-400 air defence systems despite protests from Washington, a move which is in line with the White House's previous threats to do so.

Reacting to the introduction of the bill, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan has threatened to close two Turkish air bases, Incirlik and Kurecik, if Washington decides to impose sanctions against the country. Incirlik reportedly holds American tactical nuclear weapons, while Kurecik hosts an early-warning radar station.

Military officials work around a Russian transport aircraft, carrying parts of the S-400 air defense systems, after it landed at Murted military airport outside Ankara - Sputnik International
S-400 Row: How US and Turkey Went From Being NATO Allies to Exchanging Threats

The two countries recently agreed to form teams led by national security advisers to find a resolution to their row over the S-400s, but so far their work has not yielded results. At the same time, Turkey continues to dismiss the option of getting rid or not using the obtained defence systems, calling them crucial for national defence.

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