The US Mission to NATO has confirmed that Washington is deploying six F-16 Fighting Falcon jets to Turkey. They are heading to the Incirlik Air Base in the south of the country to help NATO in their fight against Islamic State.
The US representatives to the alliance made the statement in a message published on their Twitter feed. Aside from the six fighter jets, two other military aircraft will be travelling to Turkey from an undisclosed location in Europe.
The Anadolu Agency reports that the contingent includes a C-5 transport plane plus a KC-135 refueling aircraft.
Around 300 airmen from the 31st Fighter Wing are also being sent to Turkey, to help support Operation Inherent Resolve, according to the US military website Stripes.
Air Force officials have not said how long the fighter jets will remain at the Incirlik Air Base, or whether more planes would be sent to Turkey to support the mission against Islamic State.
The US had previously only used the Incirlik Air Base, which is near the southern city of Adana, for unmanned reconnaissance missions.
Sunday annoucement follows a decision by Ankara to allow the US to use the airbase near the Syrian border, to conduct airstrikes against Islamic State (IS). The proximity of the base means that US planes can reach IS targets in only 30 minutes.
Read more: rt.com