Turkey's defense minister says a lack of support from Turkey's NATO allies in its operation to clear the Islamic State group from a town in northern Syria is leading many to question the country's permission for the U.S.-led coalition to use its air base.
In the past few weeks, Turkey has complained that the coalition forces aren't providing air cover to Turkish troops trying to capture the key ISIS-held town of al-Bab.
Fikri Isik said Wednesday: "this is leading to serious disappointment in the Turkish public opinion."
"We are telling our allies ... that this is leading to questions over Incirlik." He was referring to the air base in southern Turkey that is home to coalition planes involved in the anti-ISIS campaign. ISIS has claimed responsibility for the New Year's Istanbul nightclub attack that killed 39 people.
A KC-135 Stratotanker lands Sept. 19, 2016, at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey. Photo Credit: Staff Sgt. Jack Sanders/Air Force Isik said Turkey hoped all coalition forces, and especially the United States, will start to provide the aerial support and other support that the (Turkish military offensive) needs."
Turkey sent troops and tanks into northern Syria in August to drive back ISIS militants from a border area and curb the territorial advances of Syrian Kurdish groups.