US deploying warplanes in Turkey to fight ISIL in Syria
Iran Press TV
Sun Aug 9, 2015 3:34PM
The US Air Force has deployed a fleet of six F-16 fighter jets in a military base in Turkey in order to fight the ISIL terrorist group in Syria, according to the US mission to NATO.
'Six US Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcons deploy to Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to support the fight against ISIL,' the mission said in a tweet on Sunday.
The jets will be accompanied by a crew of 300 airmen from the 31st Fighter Wing United States Air Force.
The warplanes were reportedly stationed at Aviano Air Base in Italy and landed in Turkey' Incirlik Air Base Sunday afternoon.
"This follows Turkey's decision to host the deployment of US aircraft conducting counter-ISIL operations," the Italian airbase stated in a news release.
The new jets will put US forces only 30 minutes away from ISIL targets inside the Syrian territories.
Fox News reported over the weekend that the F-16s will also provide support for US-trained militants in Syria as part of Washington's recently declared decision to provide extended air support for the so-called moderate rebels inside the country.
Additionally, the report said that a search-and-rescue team of elite Air Force pararescuemen and their helicopters will be heading to Turkey shortly after the jets are deployed.
The Pentagon also plans to send refueling planes, such as the KC-135, which will increase the combat range for the F-16 fighters by allowing them to carry out prolonged flights over Syria.
Last week, Turkey agreed to allow the US to perform manned flights from Incirlik and other air bases on its soil.
This will be the first time that US aircraft are stationed in the base. The United States had pushed Turkey before to use its bases for military purposes, but until recently it was only allowed to carry out cargo and surveillance missions.
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