Date
23 March 2017
The 'Fighting Falcons' jets normally based in Italy have arrived in Turkey as part of a plan to expand the fight against Islamic State jihadists. Photo: Reuters
The 'Fighting Falcons' jets normally based in Italy have arrived in Turkey as part of a plan to expand the fight against Islamic State jihadists. Photo: Reuters

US deploys F-16s to Turkey, widens fight against Islamic State

The US Air Force has deployed F-16 fighter jets to Turkey after agreeing with Ankara to step up strikes on Islamic State targets in northern Syria.

The squadron arrived at Incirlik Air Base in Sunday.

It includes six F-16 “Fighting Falcons,” support equipment, and about 300 military personnel, th Wall Street Journal reports, citing the Pentagon.

The aircraft are normally based at Aviano Air Base in Italy.

Last week, as part of an agreement reached last month with Ankara, the US military launched its first airstrikes against Islamic State from Incirlik Air Base using unmanned aerial drones.

The arrival of the F-16s at the base will allow the US-led coalition to step up the pace of strike sorties because Air Force pilots will be able to spend more of their time looking for targets of opportunity on the battlefield and less time in transit to the area from military bases elsewhere in the region.

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