USAF deploys aircraft and airmen in Turkey’s Diyarbakir Air Base

6 October 2015 (Last Updated October 6th, 2015 18:30)

The US Air Force (USAF) Central Command has started deploying small detachments of aircraft and airmen at Diyarbakir Air Base in southeast Turkey, increasing the US military presence in the country.

Turkey

The US Air Force (USAF) Central Command has started deploying small detachments of aircraft and airmen at Diyarbakir Air Base in southeast Turkey, increasing the US military presence in the country.

Diyarbakir is a Turkish base home to the Turkish air force's 8th Air Wing.

According to the USAF, the new deployments are aimed at improving coalition capabilities to support personnel recovery operations in Syria and Iraq.

Nato supreme allied commander and the US European Command commander General Phillip Breedlove said: "We will be guests of the government of Turkey at Diyarbakir Air Base; there are no plans for a permanent US presence at this location.

"This marks yet another successful cooperative effort between the Turkish and US militaries."

"This marks yet another successful cooperative effort between the Turkish and US militaries."

Turkey recently agreed to join the US-led coalition fighting against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) after years of reluctance.

The new partnership delivers air cover for US-trained Syrian rebels and takes efforts to combat ISIL fighters from a strip of northern Syria.

Following Turkey's decision to join the combined joint task force-operation, Inherent Resolve, the US military carried out the first strike from Turkey in August this year.

In addition, the USAF later deployed six F-16 Fighting Falcons multirole jet fighters and 300 personnel to Turkey's Incirlik Air Base. The Pentagon also sent support equipment to Incirlik to strengthen the fight against ISIL militants.


Image: Two HC-130J Combat King IIs sit on the flight line in preparation for cargo unload at Diyarbakir Air Base, Turkey. Photo: courtesy of US Air Force photo / Airman 1st Class Cory W. Bush.