US sends F-16s to Turkish air base for anti-IS efforts
The US military said it has deployed F-16 fighter jets to a Turkish air field, as coalition air strikes continue against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
Ankara opened the Incirlik Air Base to the anti-IS combat efforts last month, while at the same time beginning its own air campaign against Islamic State as well as the Kurdish separatist group, PKK.
The six F-16s were dispatched from Aviano Air Base in Italy, along with 300 personnel, according to a statement from Incirlik.
The air offensive against IS continued overnight, with U.S.-led forces conducting 16 air strikes in Iraq and seven in Syria.
The Pentagon said U.S. forces carried out their first attack on Islamic State from Turkey into Syria with a drone strike Wednesday – the same day that American drones and other warplanes began arriving in southern Turkey.
Turkey and the United States are planning joint military action to clear IS militants from an area of Syria near the Turkish border.
Last week marked one year since the start of US-led military action against the extremist group’s strongholds in Iraq, before the campaign expanded to Syria.