(From The National Interest)
US Air Force F-15C Eagles operating out of Turkey’s Incirlik air force base are not cleared to defend Ankara’s airspace even if confronted by Russian or Syrian war planes. The Boeing-built air superiority fighters were originally deployed to the NATO base—which is relatively close to the Syrian border in Adana—because of increased Russian air activity near the border.
As one senior US Air Force official explained, the service deployed six F-15C Eagle air superiority fighters and six F-15E Strike Eagle strike fighters to the Incirlik air base in November. While the Strike Eagles were tasked to hit Daesh targets in northern Syria, the F-15Cs were sent to stiffen Turkish air defenses against Russian encroachments.
“The C’s were sent to support Turkey when we believed Russia was increasing their border crossing violations,” the senior Air Force official said. “They were never cleared to defend Turkey or work in an air defense role and then the Turks shot that Su-24.” Read More