The U.S. military is planning to move fighter jets to Turkey as part of the mission to target the Islamic State in Syria, Fox News has learned.
The U.S. Air Force is planning to send six F-16s from an undisclosed location in Europe to Turkey after the Turks agreed to allow manned flights from Incirlik Air Base and others last week. This would put U.S. jets only a 30-minute flight from ISIS targets in Syria.
The new jets are expected to arrive in the next few days. Strike missions against ISIS will begin shortly after their maintenance crews can get set up. Part of the mission of the new jets will be to support the fledgling U.S.-trained Syrian fighters.
Additionally, a search-and-rescue team of elite Air Force pararescuemen, also known as "PJs," with their support helicopters and crews will be moved into position after the fighters arrive. Other planes will also be added to the package. U.S. Air Force refueling planes such as KC-135s will also be sent to Turkey to increase the on-station time for the F-16s flying over Syria.
Until this week, the U.S. had only flown unarmed drones from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey, for surveillance only.
A source also told Fox News the U.S. military has conducted two more drone strikes against ISIS in Syria since the Pentagon announced earlier this week it had conducted one strike.
Lucas Tomlinson is the Pentagon and State Department producer for Fox News Channel. You can follow him on Twitter: @LucasFoxNews