Gen. Dunford visits Incirlik to condemn Coup attempt just days after massive Turkish protest

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with a member of the U.S. Air Force after arriving at Incirlik Air Base, July 31, 2016. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has arrived in Turkey to visit and speak to U.S. personnel stationed at Incirlik Air Base, Joint Staff spokesman Navy Capt. Greg Hicks said in a statement issued today.

Additionally the chairman will meet with Turkey’s Prime Minister Binali Yildirim and General Hulusi Akar, Chief of the Turkish General Staff, Hicks said.

Hicks said Dunford will deliver messages condemning in the strongest terms the recent coup attempt and reaffirming the importance of the U.S.’s enduring partnership for regional security as symbolized by coalition operations out of Incirlik in the counter-ISIL fight, and the importance of Turkey’s contributions to both the counter-ISIL coalition and NATO alliances.

Last week thousands of protesters  gathered outside Incilik Air Base to protest the U.S. military presence in Turkey.  The 3,000-strong US force at the base has been on high alert since the faction of secular Turkish military officers tried to overthrow President Erdogan’s government.

Related: Thousands protesting outside US Air Base in Turkey, DoD can’t confirm dependents evacuated

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