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Report: Turkey reluctant to allow U.S. use its airbase against IS

ANKARA, Sept. 11 (Xinhua) -- Turkey is not eager to allow a U.S. -led coalition to its Incirlik Air Base to launch attacks on Islamic State (IS) militants in neighboring Syria and Iraq, local media reported on Thursday.

Ankara will not allow its air bases for operational use other than logistics, daily Radikal said.

The reported reluctance came one day after U.S. President Barack Obama's accouncement of airstrikes against IS positions in Syria.

As part of the struggle against the IS, Incirlik Air Base and Turkish air space have been already used for the transfer of non- lethal material to Iraqi Army and Kurdistan Regional Government forces, daily Radikal quoted Turkish sources saying on condition of anonymity.

U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel visited Ankara on Monday and discussed the issue with Turkish officials.

The Incirlik Air Base, in Turkey's southern Adana province, maintains cooperation with NATO. It is listed by the U.S. Air Force as being among its top "Main Operating Bases" facilities.

After Obama publicly named Turkey as part of the coalition against the IS, Turkey has opened up the base, not for operational use, but logistics only, Turkey's Hurriyet Daily News reported on Tuesday.

The U.S. has not been using Incirlik Air Base for its military attacks against IS targets, John L. Espinoza, the U.S. consul general to Adana, in southern Tureky, told reporters on Thursday, private Dogan news agency reported.

In a related development, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is expected to visit Turkey on Friday as part of his efforts to gather military, political and financial support in fighting the IS group, local media reported.

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