Nafiz Albayrak / New York, Aug 13 () - The United States launched its first manned air strikes against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) targets from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Aug. 13, the U.S. military said.
The U.S.-led coalition had launched flying, unmanned missions against the militants earlier this month, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.
The F-16 fighter missions on Aug. 12 mark an expansion of the U.S. air campaign against the militant group that President Barack Obama has vowed to defeat without committing U.S. ground combat troops in either Syria or Iraq.
The Pentagon announced the start of the F-16 missions but provided no details beyond saying that the warplanes struck an unspecified number of targets in Syria.
After months of negotiations between Washington and Ankara, the Turkish government agreed in late July to permit the U.S. to station aircraft at İncirlik air base in southern Turkey. The F-16s, along with about 300 U.S. personnel, deployed to İncirlik from an air base in Italy.