ANKARA, Turkey — Turkish fighter jets have carried out their first airstrikes as part of the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS in Syria, Turkey announced on Saturday.
A Foreign Ministry statement said the jets began attacking ISIS targets late Friday across the border in Syria that were deemed to be threats to Turkey.
After months of hesitance, Turkey agreed last month to take on a more active role in the fight against ISIS. Turkish jets used smart bombs to attack ISIS positions in Syria, without crossing into Syrian airspace and later Turkey granted U.S. jets access to a key air base close to the Syrian border.
The Turkish attacks that began Friday were the first launched as part of the U.S.-led campaign and came after Turkish and U.S. officials announced they had reached agreement "on the procedures and technical details" of their cooperation, which calls for Turkey to be fully integrated into the coalition air campaign.
"Our fighter aircraft together with warplanes belonging to the coalition began as of yesterday evening to jointly carry out air operations against Daesh targets that also constitute a threat against the security of our country," the Foreign Ministry said, using the Arabic acronym for IS. "The fight against the terrorist organization is a priority for Turkey."
The statement did not provide further detail on the targets or say how many jets were involved.
Earlier this month, the U.S. F-16 jets launched their first airstrikes from the Turkish air base of Incirlik — just a short distance from targets in northern Syria. Earlier, the U.S. also began flying armed drones from Incirlik, which is just a short distance from targets in northern Syria.