Pentagon: F-15s sent to help protect Turkish airspace

The first six of 12 US F-15C Eagle jet fighters, which arrived at incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey on Nov. 6, were sent by the US government to conduct combat air patrols in Turkish airspace at the request of Ankara, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told reporters on Tuesday.
andquotThe United States agreed last month to the Turkish governmentand’s request for support to secure the sovereignty of its airspace,andquot Cook said, according to a press statement appeared on website of the US Defense Department.
The request came and”on the heels of the incursions we saw by the Russians andhellip and itand’s a request weand’ve honored,and” Cook said.
The US action reflects and”both our commitment to ensure the safety of our NATO ally and our commitment to degrade and ultimately defeat the [Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL)] in Iraq and Syria,and” he added.
In addition to first six jet fighters, the US Air Force will also soon deploy F-15E Strike Eagle jets to incirlik as part of the US-led coalition against the terrorist ISIL.
The number and date of arrival of the jet fighters are yet to be determined, the press secretary said.
and”We commend Turkeyand’s decision to open these [airspaces] to us and other coalition members participating in air operations against ISIL and Turkeyand’s participation in coalition counter-ISIL air operations,and” he added.
The US presence in Turkey includes US personnel recovery assets and manned and remotely piloted aircraft already conducting counter-ISIL missions from incirlik, Cook said.
The American fighter jets will join Turkish F-16s at incirlik, which regularly participate in coalition counter-ISIL missions in Syria, including strike missions, he added.
and”Beyond air operations, we continue our dialogue with Turkey to evaluate options on the most-effective means of countering ISIL, including along its borders in a manner that supports Turkeyand’s security and regional stability,and” the statement quoted Cook as saying.


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