USAF Begins ISIS Strikes from Turkey

US Air Force F-16s carried out the first manned aircraft strikes against ISIS targets while operating from Incirlik AB, Turkey, on Aug. 12, according to Incirlik officials and the Department of Defense. Six F-16s of the 31st Fighter Wing deployed from Aviano AB, Italy, to Turkey on Aug. 9 to take part in the coalition air strikes against ISIS in Syria and Iraq, Operation Inherent Resolve. The 39th Air Base Wing at Incirlik released photos of the F-16s taking off from the base at dusk for the Aug. 12 mission across the border in Syria. Turkey in July allowed the US to use the base for airstr?ikes against ISIS after months of blocking access except for training, ISR missions, and logistics. The Pentagon indicates, however, that operations may expand to other Turkish facilities to support Inherent Resolve. The access deal stipulates the US will have access to multiple locations, per a Pentagon spokesperson. DOD has yet to confirm deployment of combat units to other locations, but “as part of the agreement on deepening our relationship” for anti-ISIS operations, Turkey has “agreed to open some of its bases,” Pentagon spokeswoman Laura Seal tells Air Force Magazine. USAF forces routinely deploy and train at other military airfields in Turkey, such as Konya AB, in the Anatolia region.