The Pentagon said Sunday that it had dispatched six F-16 fighter jets and some 300 military personnel to the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey in a bid to destroy the Islamic State (ISIL, or ISIS) terrorist group in Iraq and Syria.
The contingent comes from the 31st Fighter Wing currently deployed at the Aviano Air Base in Italy.
Last week, US drones flying out of Incirlik struck ISIL bases in Iraq and Syria. The US-led coalition of some 60 countries countering ISIL has recently increased its aerial bombardment of the group’s positions in Iraq and Syria.
About two weeks ago, the Turkish government announced it was allowing the US military to launch operations from Incirlik after NATO convened an emergency meeting on Ankara’s request to discuss the violence on the borders.
Turkey launched retaliatory air raids against ISIL after a male suicide bomber killed 32 demonstrators in Suruc, near the Syrian border on July 20.
But the Turkish military has also been striking at positions held by the Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK).
A gun battle between the PKK Turkish security forces in southeastern Sirnak province killed two people and wounded 10 others injured on August 7.
On July 26, a car bomb targeting a Turkish military vehicle in Diyarbakir killed two soldiers and injured four.
The PKK has been for decades fighting to create a Kurdish state in southeastern Turkey. It is classified as a terrorist organization by the US and EU.
The BRICS Post with inputs from Agencies