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NEWS | Aug. 11, 2015

Air Force F-16s arrive in Turkey to join ISIL fight

By Cheryl Pellerin, DoD News

WASHINGTON, Aug. 10, 2015 – Six U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft and about 300 personnel arrived yesterday at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to support Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said.

The F-16s will begin flying missions against ISIL in the coming days, the Pentagon press operations chief added.

“The primary strategic benefit of [operating from Turkey] is that it gives us greater proximity to the targets we need to strike against ISIL,” he said.

The detachment is from the 31st Fighter Wing based at Aviano Air Base in Italy, according to a statement from U.S. European Command, and follows Turkey's decision to host the deployment of U.S. aircraft conducting counter-ISIL operations.

As members of a more than 60-nation coalition, the United States and Turkey “are committed to the fight against ISIL in the pursuit of peace and stability in the region,” the statement said.