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Germany to Pull Troops From Turkish Base in Spat With Ankara

  • Associated Press

FILE - German military trucks carrying NATO's Patriot Missile Defense leave the port in the Mediterranean city of Iskenderun, Turkey, Jan. 22, 2013.

Chancellor Angela Merkel's Cabinet has decided to pull German troops and reconnaissance aircraft out of Turkey's Incirlik air base after Turkish officials refused to let members of parliament visit those stationed there.

The decision Wednesday announced by Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen comes after a lengthy impasse over the visits and ongoing friction between Berlin and Ankara. They've involved a multitude of other issues, including the arrest of German journalists in Turkey and Germany's decision to grant asylum to soldiers and others who Turkey alleges were involved in last year's failed coup.

Germany has about 270 troops stationed at Incirlik, near the Syrian border, with Tornado reconnaissance aircraft that support the international anti-Islamic State mission, and a refueling plane.

They'll redeploy to a base in Jordan, but the move may take up to two months.

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