NATO Europe Commander to Visit Turkey For Syria Talks
NATO Supreme Allied Commander Europe Gen. Curtis Scaparrotti will be in Turkey on Wednesday for talks, mostly on cooperation in Syria and other regional issues.
The commander is scheduled to visit Incirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana as part of his program. The air base is home to a significant portion of NATO troops from Germany and the U.S. and serves as an essential launchpad for air campaigns against Islamic State (ISIS) targets in northern Syria and Iraq.
Gen. Scaparotti is also expected to NATO base in the western province of Izmir. According to pro-government media in Turkey, the NATO commander plans to meet with U.S. Pastor Andrew Brunson who is currently under house arrest.
There is no confirmation from NATO whether the commander will indeed visit the U.S. pastor whose ongoing detention generated a lasting dispute between Turkey and the U.S.
Last week, President Donald J. Trump threatened Turkey with imposing large sanctions for the detainment of Brunson. His threat elicited a rebuke from the Turkish side, which refused to backtrack on Brunson’s case.
The pastor faces up to 35 years in prison over charges of espionage and terrorism. He was released from jail last week after 22 months of imprisonment and placed under house arrest.