Ankara, Aug 13 () - Turkey’s Foreign Minister Mevlüt Çavuşoğlu disclaimed that the U.S. aircrafts having departed from the İncirlik airbase in southeastern Adana province targeted Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) or launched an operation, on Aug. 12.
Having spoken to the private broadcaster Haberturk TV, FM Çavuşoğlu said none of the U.S. combat planes which had departed from the İncirlik airbase until today have not participated to any operations. Çavuşoğlu defended that the aircrafts have departed from the INcirlik airbase just for exploration, not to bomb the ISIL targets.
“We will be carrying out the operations in coorperation in the forthcoming period. The operations will be lauched in the fortcoming days” Çavuşoğlu added.
US: First manned air strikes against ISIL started on Thursday
However, The United States said earlier on Thursday that, launched first manned air strikes against ISIL targets from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Aug. 13. 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.