By Cheryl Pellerin
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Aug. 14, 2015 – The United States and Turkey are finalizing details of Turkey’s recently announced participation in the air campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Syria, a U.S. Central Command spokesman said here today.
Air Force Col. Pat Ryder briefed reporters at the Pentagon this morning on continuing operations in Iraq and Syria by coalition partners supporting Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.
On Aug. 12, the Pentagon announced that the United States had begun flying manned counter-ISIL missions from Incirlik Air Base in Turkey and conducting airstrikes.
This follows Turkey's announcement in July that it would open its bases for U.S. and coalition members’ air operations against ISIL, as part of deeper U.S.-Turkey counter-ISIL cooperation.
“Turkey has been a welcome partner in terms of opening up Incirlik Air Base and allowing us to conduct manned and unmanned operations out of [that base],” Ryder told reporters, speaking by phone from Centcom.
“They have definitely highlighted that they are committed to participating in the counter-ISIL air operations, [and] they have stopped doing any counter-ISIL flights until we finalize … how they will be part of the coalition air campaign,” Ryder added.
On Aug. 9, six U.S. Air Force F-16 fighter aircraft and about 300 personnel arrived at Incirlik Air Base to support Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said this week.
The detachment is from the 31st Fighter Wing based at Aviano Air Base in Italy, according to the statement from U.S. European Command.