German military resumes tanker flights after move from Turkish base

Reuters , Tuesday 11 Jul 2017

Tornado jet
FILE PHOTO: A technician works on a German Tornado jet at Incirlik airbase

The German air force on Tuesday resumed refuelling operations from an air base in Jordan in support of U.S.-led air strikes against Islamic State group after moving its Airbus MRTT tanker out of Turkey's Incirlik air base, a military spokesman said.

Germany began pulling its troops out of the Turkish base on Sunday after a long-running row with Ankara over its decision to block German lawmakers from visiting German soldiers stationed there.

Turkey is at odds with Germany over a number of issues , ranging from criticism of the post-coup clampdown by Ankara to limiting Turkish political campaigning in Germany.

Germany insisted that lawmakers be given the right to visit its soldiers, since parliament, not the government, has oversight of the country's armed forces.

"The tanker has now flown its first mission out of Jordan," the spokesman told Reuters after officials briefed lawmakers.

Six German Tornado fighter jets that are flying surveillance missions as part of the fight against Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, will continue operating out of the Turkish air base until the end of July, officials have said.

Germany plans to bring the aircraft back to Germany then for maintenance and other operations until preparations for their operation have been completed at the new Jordanian base.

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