Sep 23 2019

Turkish fighter jets enter Syrian airspace – Turkish Defence Ministry

Turkish F-16 fighter jets entered Syrian airspace on Monday as part of a U.S.-led operation against Islamic State (ISIS) in the region, Turkey’s Defence Ministry said. 

"Two F-16s belonging to the Air Force Command were flying in Syrian airspace between 10 a.m.-12 a.m. as part of Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) Operation Inherent Resolve," the ministry announced on Twitter.

Turkey and the United States are in talks to set up a safe zone in northeast Syria and without the presence of Syrian Kurdish forces the area. Turkey says the United States is moving too slowly to establish a sufficiently large safe zone.

The zone is meant to provide a buffer between Turkey and parts of northern Syria controlled by the Syrian Kurdish forces of the People’s Protection Units (YPG), which forms the backbone of U.S.-led coalition forces fighting ISIS in northern Syria. Turkey maintains the YPG is the Syrian branch of the outlawed Kurdistan Workers’ Party (PKK), an armed group that has been at war in Turkey for more than three decades.

President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan has said Turkey is ready to act on its southern border with Syria if the United States does not establish a safe zone.