Writes Barbara Starr for CNN:
The US military is doing “prudent planning” in case it needs to move its anti-ISIS operations out of Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey following the country’s failed coup, several US defense officials told CNN Tuesday.
The Turkish government cut off the power to the base after the coup attempt took place Friday, leaving it without a commercial power supply for four days and counting.
The Pentagon has been able to fully operate the base through generator power but said it would be difficult to continue indefinitely.
While fuel supplies for the generators could be brought in, the key is whether it becomes too expensive and cumbersome given the high pace of air strikes the US wants to continue flying out of the base. US aircraft regularly conducts missions in northern Syria, where it is battling ISIS. And both drones and surveillance aircraft are used to monitor the border with Syria and conduct other reconnaissance missions.
The Pentagon is all but openly pressuring the Turks to turn the power back on at Incirlik.
Whether Erdogan staged this coup or not, he is playing dirty pool. He’s never been that helpful in fighting ISIS, but acquiesced due to his countries membership in NATO. Now with NATO and the European Union applying pressure, he has the political ammunition he desires to surge Turkey to an Islamist state – the “gift from God” he mentioned earlier this week.