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Saudi Warplanes Arrive at Turkish Airbase

February 27, 2016 (Photo Credit: AFP via Getty Images)


ANKARA — A batch of four F-15E Strike Eagle fighter jets of the Royal Saudi Air Force arrived Feb. 26 at the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey, officials said.

The arrival of Saudi aircraft raised the number of countries operating from the Incirlik airbase to five — after the United States, Britain, Germany and Qatar.

These countries make up the U.S.-led international coalition operating airstrikes against the Islamic State group (also known as ISIL or Daesh) strongholds in Syria.

The Saudi F-15Es will support the allied campaign against ISIL targets, Turkish officials said. They also said the Saudi planes will conduct patrol flights along Turkey’s border with Syria.

Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s spokesperson, Ibrahim Kalin referred to the deployment as anti-Islamic State group coalition with a mission of combat activities.

Kalin said: “This is one of the bold statements of our support to the international coalition in combating Daesh and its presence there.”

Saudi Defense Ministry Undersecretary Ahmed al-Asiri confirmed the landing, according to Turkish state-run Anadolu news agency.

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