A Belgian Air Component General Dynamics (Lockheed-Martin) F-16AM Fighting Falcon just after take-off from its homebase Kleine Brogel, flying with 10 Wing (Image © Marcel Burger)

Belgian F-16s need approval to fight ISIS after New Year

The six Belgian Air Component General Dynamics (Lockheed Martin) F-16AM/BM Fighting Falcon jets deployed to Jordan, will continue fighting the so-called Islamic State forces in Iraq until New Year. But if they fight on in 2015 is still uncertain.

The decision to make operation Desert Falcon – as the Belgian name for the deployment goes – lasting until 31 December was made a week ago by the Belgian government. At the end of 2014 the Belgians will first conduct a political and military evaluation of the ops, before a possible continuation into 2015 will be discussed.

Since the beginning of their operations the BAC Vipers flew more than 60 sorties. Some were tactical reconnaissance flights, some where bombing missions that included at least one ISIS / ISIL compound and at least one armed vehicle.

Operation Desert Falcon is supported by 110 military personnel, likely at As Shaheed Muwaffaq al Salti Airbase in Al Azraq in Jordan. The 6 Belgian F-16s are operational since 1 October this year and are part of the larger international effort to combat ISIS / ISIL that the leading US forces call Operation Inherent Resolve.

Source: Belgian Ministry of Defence with additional reporting by Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger

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A Belgian Air Component General Dynamics (Lockheed-Martin) F-16AM Fighting Falcon just after take-off from its homebase Kleine Brogel, flying with 10 Wing (Image © Marcel Burger)
A Belgian Air Component Lockheed Martin F-16AM Fighting Falcon (Image © Marcel Burger)