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USAF deploys A-10s to Turkey to fight ISIS

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World Defense & Security News - United States
 
 
USAF deploys A-10s to Turkey to fight ISIS
 
The US Department of Defence has decided to increase its pressure the Islamic State by deploying 12 A-10 attack aircraft to Incirlik Air Base in Turkey. The news was initially made public by Agence France Press and Turkish Media, but later confirmed by the DoD. The aircraft have already arrived at the airbase and replaced six LM F-16 which were deployed last August from Aviano Air Base.
     
USAF deploys A 10s to Turkey to fight ISIS 640 001A-10 Thunderbolt II close air support aircraft
(USAF)
     
According to the US Department of Defence, the aircraft would carry out close air support operations both in Syria and Iraq, depending on the needs of the ground troops.

The decision to deploy the A-10s is a big reversal from previous statements of the former Commander of the Air Combat Command, General (ret.) Mike Hostage. Last year he said that he would never send the A-10 to combat operations such as those in Syria, due to the proliferation of a large number of anti-aircraft weapons. An A-10 flying low in this environment would receive an unsustainable rate of ground fire. Their deployment should follow after weeks of intensive air defence suppression operations Gen. (ret.) Mike Hostage said.

However, the US DoD spokeswoman, Navy Cmdr. Elissa Smith told the Air Force Times that the A-10s have flown missions over Syria.

The arrival of the aircraft at the Incirlik Air Base marks an important step towards keeping the A-10s in service. The issue had sparked a controversy in the parliamentary sessions and the Media, as the US Air Force wanted to scrap the type in order to save the required amounts of funds for the sequestration and the rest of the acquisition programmes. As it seems, the A-10 will continue to play an integral role in USAF’s CAS missions, in a high-risk area of operations.