The movement of German troops from the Turkish air base in Incirlik to a new base in Jordan is expected to take around three months, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen told German media on Sunday, Deutsche Welle reports.
“Until the end of June, our flight plans as part of the anti-“Islamic State” coalition are set,” she was quoted of saying in the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “After that, we’ll be transferring our tanker aircraft as quickly as possible to Jordan.”
Germany has more than 250 military personnel stationed at Incirlik who fly Tornado surveillance missions over Syria and refueling flights for partner nations in the coalition against the so-called “Islamic State.”
Von der Leyen also warned that the transfer would temporarily put the Bundeswehr’s mission in the Middle East on hold. However, troops would be ready to be deployed from the new base in Jordan by around mid-July, she added.
The decision to pull out of the Turkish base at Incirlik comes on the back of difficult diplomatic relations between NATO members Germany and Turkey.
Last month, Ankara blocked a German parliamentary delegation from visiting Bundeswehr troops at the base, marking the second time that Turkey had done so. Turkish officials said their decision was a response to Germany granting asylum to Turkish military personnel accused of participating in a failed coup last year – a move that reportedly enraged Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.