A Turkish F-16C taking off (Image © Elmer van Hest)

Turkish F-16s bomb ISIS targets in Syria

Three Turkish F-16s have launched guided weapons against targets of the so-called Islamic State forces in Syria on Friday morning 24 July 2015. According to Turkish sources the jets fired from inside Turkish airspace and did not fly across the border.

If there ever was a universal signal, it's thumbs up! This Turkish F-16 pilot shows his satisfaction after a successful mission. (Image © Elmer van Hest)
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The F-16s reportedly took off from Diyarbakir Airbase early on Friday morning to hit three targets in Havar, Syria. Two of the three were locations from where ISIS commanders apparently give instruction to their fighters, the third is supposed to be a point where ISIS fighters regularly meet. It was the first publicly known air raid by the Türk Hava Kuvvetleri against the so-called Islamic State forces.

According to Turkish sources the Turkish Air Force attack was a retaliation for the killing by ISIS forces of a Turkish non-commissioned officer earlier this week. Critics say it is interesting that Turkey apparently knew exactly where the ISIS forces were so close to its border, but that neither they nor the international forces fighting ISIS as part of Operations Inherent Resolve struck the targets earlier.

That might actually change in the future, since Turkey has allowed the international coalition (which will likely mean mainly US Air Force) to start using Incirlik Airbase to conduct air strikes against ISIS. So far Ankara was reluctant to support the bombings, fearing escalation into its own territory.

© 2015 Airheadsfly.com editor Marcel Burger
Featured image: A Turkish F-16C taking off (Image © Elmer van Hest)