ANKARA Ñ Turkey has quietly allowed the United States to conduct a
military buildup despite the rejection of such a request by the
Turkish government sources and media reports said the U.S. military has
brought armored vehicles, tanks and fighter-jets to Turkey as part of plans
for a war against Iraq.
So far, the United States has amassed a fleet of more than 100
fighter-jets in Turkey. The sources said the warplanes are in the southern
Turkish base at Incerlik and include the F-15, F-16, F/A-18 and
The sources said Turkey has allowed the first of an
estimated 40 U.S. ships in the eastern Mediterranean to dock and unload
equipment for the military.
Turkey's NTV news channel said a ship unloaded U.S. military equipment
over the weekend at the port of Iskenderun. The equipment included military
vehicles, bulldozers and engineering platforms. This is the first ship with
U.S. military equipment to have entered a Turkish port since Feb. 24.
About a dozen trucks loaded with U.S. military equipment arrived in
Incerlik on Saturday, the sources said. Turkish media reports said the
trucks encountered anti-war protesters.
The sources said U.S. troops have not been allowed into Turkey in wake
of parliament's rejection of a plan for the deployment of 62,000 American
soldiers. They said under Turkish military pressure, parliament could
reconsider the decision over the next week.
Over the weekend, 500 Turkish military trucks, loaded with tanks,
artillery and ammunition, made their way to the Iraqi border. Turkish
sources said the trucks will enter northern Iraq as part of the Turkish
military's deployment in the area.