Russia has reached out to Turkey, requesting access to the US-built Incerlik air base, which is already a which is used by anti-IS coalition forces to hit targets in Iraq and Syria.
Russia considers Incerlik air base as convenient launch pad for Syrian airstrikes, Sputnik News reported Tuesday.
Incerlik air base is home to at least 50 US B-61 nuclear warheads each carrying the potential destructive capacity of 100 times the Hiroshima bomb, a reality that led to heightened concern among American officials during, and in the wake of, the failed coup attempt of the Erdogan regime.
During the weekend, Prime Minister Binali Yildirim responded to an alleged request from Russia to use Incirlik base, noting it "could be used" by Russia. However, the US has sought clarification from Turkish Prime Minister for his comments that Russia could use the Incirlik air base.
"I am aware of those comments and of course we have, in our private diplomatic conversations with Turkey, sought clarity on what the implications of those might be," US Department of State spokesman Mark Toner said on Tuesday.
Presently the US uses the Incirlik base for US aircraft involved in the anti-Islamic State campaign in Syria. Russia primarily flies its aircraft out of the Hmeymim base in Syria in support of anti-terrorism operations in the country.