Vero Beach, FL – (TRUNEWS) Turkish police have unofficially blockaded Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, according to a military source inside the joint NATO installation.
According to the source, who’s identity and position has been verified by TRUNEWS, the U.S. portion of the Incirlik Air Base has been cut off from local power since Friday, forcing personnel to solely rely on fuel generators to power mission critical buildings.
The source said that Turkish police units are still maintaining a blockade of the base entrance — which began Friday night — and that critical supplies such as fuel, food, and water are running low. Rationing protocols have gone into effect base-wide, and personnel are enduring above 90°C temperatures without access to air conditioning and other nonessential powered amenities.
The source confirmed previous reports that local police entered the Turkish side of Incirlik Air Base on Saturday, and arrested the 10th Base commander,General Bekir Ercan Van. Eleven other Turkish service members and a police officer were arrested, a senior Turkish official confirmed to the Wall Street Journal Sunday.
In a December interview with Turkish state-run Anadolu Agency, an unnamed USAF F-16 pilot told reporters that soldiers from both sides of the NATO installation ate at the same dining facility, and that the Turkish Air Command — which likely housed General Bekir Ercan Van’s primary office — was positioned directly next to the U.S. Air Command.
Incirlik Air Base serves as a significant bastion of U.S. force projection in the Middle East, is headquarters to the US 39th Air Base Wing, and vaults over 50 B-1 nuclear bombers on-site. The source was unaware of the status of those nuclear armaments, but confirmed the base has maintained its Friday night security status of FPCON Delta — the same high level of alert military bases were placed on after the attacks on September 11th 2001.
According to a public statement made Sunday by Turkish Prime Minister Binali Yildirim, military airspace restrictions — which began Friday night — have since been lifted. Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook confirmed the change in airspace accessibility Sunday morning, and stated that “U.S. facilities at Incirlik are still operating on internal power sources,” officials “hope to restore commercial power soon”, and that “base operations have not been affected.”
Contrary to that statement, a family member of a U.S. Service member garrisoned at Incirlik Air Base told TRUNEWS that the Turkish side of the base never lost access to commercial power , and the blackout is, and has been, solely experienced on the U.S. portion of the installation.
On Monday, following the arrests of approximately 20,000 political, military, and police officials throughout the country, Turkey’s state-run news agency reported that for a second time an uninvited armed continent of police entered Incirlik Air Base. Anadolu Agency said the two Deputy Attorney General’s and seven Prosecutors were sent to conduct an investigation related to the foiled military coup — an event which many suspect was actually staged by Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan to eliminate oppositionary forces.
A military representative with the public affairs office for Incirlik Air Base was reached by phone Monday evening, but was unauthorized to answer questions pertaining to the health and welfare of the approximately 1,500 airmen stationed at the base, the status of the 50 B-1 bombers and their nuclear warheads, and the reports that the Turkish government is intentionally depriving U.S. personnel of commercial power.
Security concerns surrounding Incirlik Air Base have steadily increased over the last year. At the end of March the Pentagon ordered nearly 700 spouses and children to evacuate, and in June, Thaddeus Borowicz, a U.S. civilian contractor who worked at the base, was found dead outside his home in nearby Adana – approximately 65 miles from the Syrian border. ISIS later claimed responsibility for the killing.