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Turkey denies allowing US to use bases for anti-IS strikes

Turkish government official says no new agreement to allow US to use Incirlik air base in the south of the country
Humanitarian aid transported on board an air force Transall C-160 aircraft of the German armed forces at the Incirlik Airbase near Adana in Turkey on 15 August, 2014 (AFP)

Turkey on Monday denied statements by US officials that it had allowed the United States access to its air bases for bombing missions against Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria.

A government official said there was no new agreement over the use by the United States of the Incirlik air base in southern Turkey, which US air forces already use for logistical and humanitarian purposes.

"There is no new agreement with the United States about Incirlik," the official, who asked not to be named, told AFP in Ankara. 

"Negotiations are continuing" based on conditions Turkey had previously laid out such as a safe zone inside Syria backed up by a no-fly zone, the official added.

"There is no change in our position," the official said.

A senior US defence official said Sunday that Turkey has granted the US forces access to its air bases, including Incirlik, for the bombing campaign against IS.

"Details of usage are still being worked out," the US official told AFP on condition of anonymity.

Located in southern Turkey in Adana province a short distance from the Syrian border, Incirlik would be an ideal start point for US forces to launch air strikes against IS inside Syria.