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Thu 13 Aug 2015 11:38 AM

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US begins air strikes against ISIL from Turkish base

US-led coalition had launched flying, unmanned missions against the militants earlier this month

US begins air strikes against ISIL from Turkish base
Image for illustrative purpose only (Getty Images)

The United States launched its first manned air strikes against ISIL targets from the Incirlik Air Base in Turkey on Wednesday, the US military said.

The US-led coalition had launched flying, unmanned missions against the militants earlier this month, the Combined Joint Task Force said in a statement.

Turkish fighter jets were not involved in the manned US air strikes on Wednesday, Turkish security sources said.

Turkey agreed last month to open its strategically important bases to the US-led coalition, a major policy change after years of reluctance to take a frontline role against the Islamist fighters pressing on its borders.

But Ankara has been reluctant to play a leading role in the fight against the militants, who control parts of neighbouring Syria and Iraq, citing fears of a backlash.

In July, Turkey launched air strikes against the militants in Syria for the first time.