MILITARY

Pentagon officials say US F-16 fighters fly first missions from Turkey against IS militants

  • In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, an F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as the U.S. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, launched its first airstrikes by Turkey-based F-16 fighter jets against Islamic State targets in Syria, marking a limited escalation of a yearlong air campaign that critics have called excessively cautious.  (Krystal Ardrey/U.S. Air Force via AP))

    In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, an F-16 Fighting Falcon takes off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as the U.S. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, launched its first airstrikes by Turkey-based F-16 fighter jets against Islamic State targets in Syria, marking a limited escalation of a yearlong air campaign that critics have called excessively cautious. (Krystal Ardrey/U.S. Air Force via AP))  (The Associated Press)

  • In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, four F-16 Fighting Falcon prepare to take off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as the U.S. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, launched its first airstrikes by Turkey-based F-16 fighter jets against Islamic State targets in Syria, marking a limited escalation of a yearlong air campaign that critics have called excessively cautious.  (Krystal Ardrey/U.S. Air Force via AP))

    In this image provided by the U.S. Air Force, four F-16 Fighting Falcon prepare to take off from Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, as the U.S. on Wednesday, Aug. 12, 2015, launched its first airstrikes by Turkey-based F-16 fighter jets against Islamic State targets in Syria, marking a limited escalation of a yearlong air campaign that critics have called excessively cautious. (Krystal Ardrey/U.S. Air Force via AP))  (The Associated Press)

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.