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Friday, July 15, 2016

How the coup in Turkey endangers the U.S.

The country is a NATO ally
It is host to the U.S.-led coalition fighting the Islamic State group
Turkey lies at the strategic nexus between the Middle East and Europe

Reports of a coup in Turkey caught Washington off guard Friday as a military faction claimed it had taken control of the strategic U.S. ally.
Relations between the U.S. and Turkey have been strained in recent months, but stability in the country is vital to American interests in the Middle East.
Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirm announced that a group within the country’s military had attempted late Friday to overthrow the government. Social media in the country has been largely shut down and television stations showed tanks and jeeps outside Ataturk Airport in Istanbul, site of a recent terrorist attack. A military official read a statement on Turkish television stating that martial law had been imposed.
Turkey lies at the nexus between the Middle East and Europe, and is directly north of Syria. It hosts the U.S.-led international coalition fighting the Islamic State group, which conducts airstrikes against the extremists from Incirlik Airbase in the southern part of Turkey.
The Defense Department did not have an immediate statement on the status of American personnel and assets at the base, MSNBC reported. READ MORE

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