The Pentagon is reportedly trying to restore relations with Turkey amid the recent controversy over the Incirlik airbase and the Kürecik Radar Statio, as President Recep Tayyip Erdogan threatened to shut down the compounds if the US were to move forward with imposing sanctions against his country.
"We consider the status of our forces in Turkey to be a symbol of our decades-long commitment to work and help to defend Turkey - our NATO ally and strategic partner", a source at the Pentagon stated on Monday.
The tensions between the allies re-escalated after the US Senate's Foreign Relations Committee approved a bill on sanctioning Turkey through the Countering America's Adversaries Through Sanctions Act (CAATSA) on 11 December. If the legislation is passed by the Senate and signed by the president, it may result in the freezing of Turkish assets, visa restrictions, and limited access to credit.
While the US retracted its October sanctions against Ankara, introduced after the launch of Operation Peace Spring in Northern Syria, the House has still adopted a bill recognising the Armenian Genocide, which has caused backlash from Turkey.
At the same time, Washington continues to raise concerns over Ankara's acquisition of the Russian-made S-400 air defence systems. The US expressed fears that the weaponry is incompatible with NATO security standards and might compromise the F-35 fighter jets project.
Turkey, however, has insisted that it will continue to accept further deliveries, with the second batch of S-400s to be delivered by the end of next year. Despite US pressure, Ankara stressed it won't break its deal with Moscow, noting that the air defence systems will be fully operational in the country by April 2020.