The U.S. is turning up the heat in the Middle East, sending a second wave of F-15E fighter jets to Incirlik airbase in Turkey. They are of the 48th Fighter Wing based at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England,.
These jets are used for precision air strikes ad well as air-to-air combat – something that could be handy with semi-hostile nations flying in the same air space.
Earlier this week, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan said he’d be willing to open up other bases to the U.S. but is also pushing for a no-fly zone over the Turkish/Syrian border, which the U.S. is not supporting.
The geopolitical situation in the region continues to change.
Six F-15E Strike Eagle fighters flew into Incirlik airbase Thursday to join a growing American fleet of strike and close air support aircraft based in Turkey for a stepped-up campaign against ISIS, U.S. European Command said.
The F-15Es from the 48th Fighter Wing based at Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, will have the mission from Incirlik, about 70 miles from the Syrian border, of countering the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in both Syria and Iraq as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, EuCom said in a statement.
The F15Es will join six F-15Cs, also from the 48th Fighter Wing, which arrived at Incirlik last Friday. EuCom said, “The F-15Cs are conducting combat air patrols in Turkish air space to help secure sovereign Turkish airspace,” suggesting that the F-15Cs were there to guard against incursions by Russian aircraft.
Will Turkey play a larger role in the fight against ISIS? Let us know what you think in the comments below!