6 US fighter jets deployed to Turkey to ‘defeat ISIS’ & deter ‘Russian aggression’

Wednesday, November 11, 2015
By Paul Martin

11 Nov, 2015

The first six of 12 US fighter jets have arrived in Turkey at Ankara’s request, according to the Pentagon. It says the deployment is aimed at protecting slow-flying US planes hitting Islamic State targets in Syria, and deterring Russian aggression.

The arrival of the F-15-C Eagle jet fighters to Incirlik Air Base represents “both our commitment to ensure the safety of our NATO ally and our commitment to degrade and ultimately defeat the [Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant] in Iraq and Syria,” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said on Tuesday.

In addition to the F-15Cs, the US Air Force will also soon deploy F-15E Strike Eagle jets to Incirlik as part of the US-led coalition’s operations against Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL). However, their number and date of arrival have yet to be determined, according to Cook.

“We commend Turkey’s decision to open these [airspaces] to us and other coalition members participating in air operations against ISIL and Turkey’s participation in coalition counter-ISIL air operations,” Cook said.

He added that US presence in Turkey includes US personnel recovery assets, as well as manned and remotely piloted aircraft, which are already conducting counter-IS missions from Incirlik.

The US fighter jets will join Turkish F-16s at Incirlik, which routinely participate in coalition counter-IS missions in Syria, including strike missions, Cook added.

But the move isn’t only aimed at battling Islamic State, according to Cook, who claimed the shipment comes “on the heels of the incursions we saw by the Russians…and it’s a request we’ve honored.”

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