İncirlik ‘fantastic’ for targeting ISIL, US officer says
WASHINGTON - Anadolu Agency
DHA PhotoA senior U.S. military officer has said the use of İncirlik base in Turkey for the U.S.-led coalition’s air operations against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in northern Syria and Iraq is “already proving to have a great multiplier effect on the battlefield.”
Brig. Gen. Kevin Killea, chief of staff of the Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTFOIR), told reporters on Aug. 21 that the location of İncirlik was “fantastic and strategic” for coalition forces to hit ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq.
İncirlik - an air base located close to Turkey’s border with war-torn Syria - opened last month to U.S. forces after an agreement with Ankara for expanded operations against ISIL.
Saying that F-16 fighter jets were flying regularly from İncirlik base in Turkey to support the U.S.-led coalition’s anti-ISIL efforts in Syria and Iraq, Killea said the armed Remotely Piloted Aircraft, strike fighters and aerial refueling tankers originating from Turkey had combined to produce devastating results against ISIL targets.
Turkey first declared it would open İncirlik, in the southern province of Adana, for coalition aircraft on July 24.
Eight U.S. military aircraft - including six F-16 fighter jets - and 300 accompanying personnel arrived at İncirlik on Aug. 9.
On Aug. 12, the U.S. had launched its first manned airstrikes against ISIL targets from İncirlik, according to CENTCOM.