WASHINGTON – The U.S. has launched its first F-16 fighter missions from Turkey against Islamic State targets in Syria.
The F-16 fighter missions Wednesday mark an expansion of the U.S. air campaign against the militant group that President Barack Obama has vowed to defeat without committing U.S. ground combat troops in either Syria or Iraq.
The Pentagon announced the start of the F-16 missions but provided no details beyond saying that the warplanes struck an unspecified number of targets in Syria.
After months of negotiations between Washington and Ankara, the Turkish government agreed in late July to permit the U.S. to station aircraft at Incirlik air base in southern Turkey. The F-16s, along with about 300 U.S. personnel, deployed to Incirlik from an air base in Italy.