Ankara, Oct 16 () - Turkey has joined just three coordinated U.S.-led coalition airstrikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets in Syria since August.
Turkish war jets have struck ISIL positions in Syria in two of the three aerial campaigns so far, with the last of the air strikes coming late on Oct. 14, according to Turkish sources in Ankara.
In the last airstrikes, the F-16 jets hit ISIL compounds alongside coalition aircraft that took off from the İncirlik Airbase in southern Turkey late on Oct. 14.
U.S. predators later struck a number of ISIL vehicles that were trying to escape, sources said, clarifying a White House statement.
“We have seen in the last 24 hours or so that Turkey has stepped up its activity in Syria ... Reports overnight [state] that the Turks for the first time successfully struck a mobile ISIL target inside Syria” White House spokesman Josh Earnest had said during a daily press briefing on Oct. 15
Turkey conducted its first joint air strikes as part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIL on Aug. 28.
In the same month, after months of hesitation, Turkey agreed to be part of the military campaign against ISIL, as well as granting expanded access to the U.S.-led coalition forces to İncirlik Air Base, a pivotal tactical spot from which to launch fighter jets. The US and Turkey finalized the agreement on Aug. 24.