The US has deployed six F-16 fighter jets from the 31st Fighter Wing to Turkey's Incirlik Air Base to join coalition airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. The US Air Force also deployed support equipment and around 300 personnel, US European Command announced on 9 August.
According to the Associated Press, Turkey ended months of reluctance to join the US-led coalition last month, when it carried out airstrikes against Isis targets in Syria.
Turkey has also agreed to allow the US to use the strategically-located Incirlik Air Base. The base is located near Isis strongholds in Syria, giving the US the opportunity to act quickly against the terrorist group.
US armed drones targeted Isis positions last week, with Turkish Foreign Minister Mevlut Cavusoglu saying an "extensive" fight lay ahead. The first strike against Isis fighters in Syria by US forces in Turkey was conducted last week, the Pentagon confirmed.
The US-led coalition has conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq and seven in Syria in the last 24 hours, Voice of America reported. According to NBC News, senior defence officials stated the F-16 Falcons now stationed at the Turkish base will begin air patrols "within a few days".
In its statement about the move, the US military said, "The United States and Turkey, as members of the 60-plus nation coalition, are committed to the fight against Isil in the pursuit of peace and stability in the region."
Turkish media has reported the US is expected to deploy about 30 fighter jets to the Turkish base, according to the AP. Reuters reported that Turkey has faced increasing insecurity along its border with Syria, as fears that the conflict would boil over into Turkey.