Date
23 September 2017
An F-16 Fighting Falcon of the US Air Force arrives at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Photo: AFP
An F-16 Fighting Falcon of the US Air Force arrives at the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. Photo: AFP

US begins air strikes against Islamic State from Turkish base

The United States has launched its first manned air strikes against Islamic State targets from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, the US military said.

The US-led coalition had launched flying, unmanned missions against the militants earlier this month, Reuters reported, citing a statement from the Combined Joint Task Force.

Turkish fighter jets were not involved in the manned US air strikes on Wednesday, Turkish security sources said.

Turkey agreed last month to open its strategically important bases to the US-led coalition, a major policy change after years of reluctance to take a frontline role against the Islamist fighters pressing on its borders, the news agency said.

But Ankara has been reluctant to play a leading role in the fight against the militants, who control parts of neighboring Syria and Iraq, citing fears of a backlash.

In July, Turkey launched air strikes against the militants in Syria for the first time.

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RA/CG

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