Turkish jet fighters are in skies over Iraqi Kurdistan.
ERBIL, Kurdistan Region – Turkish F-16 fighters have taken off from an air base in Diyarbakir for skies over Iraq where Kurdish Peshmerga forces are locked in fierce fighting against the Islamic State (IS/ISIS), a media report in Turkey said.
Turkish F-16s have taken off from the military airport in Amed (Diyarbakir) towards the sky south of (Iraqi) Kurdistan to monitor the situation in the areas where there is ongoing fighting between Peshmergas and ISIS, especially the borders of Makhmour in the Kurdistan Region, the Sabah newspaper reported.
The report came as Kurdish Peshmerga forces were pushing ahead with an offensive that began Saturday.
The Kurds, whose Peshmergas are seen as the key to turning the tide against IS armies fighting in Syria and in control of large parts of Iraq, have been winning greater international support, after weeks of pleading for arms and expertise.
The Peshmergas have no air power but formidable ground forces. Peshmerga officials have confirmed the forces are now equipped with new heavy weapons, but have remained mum about where the arms were coming from.
Jet fighters have been seen pounding IS positions, with Iraq saying its air forces were involved in the fighting. A US official also told Rudaw that Washington was going to provide air power.
The reports of Turkish involvement coincided with Peshmergas fighting on the border of Mosul, Iraq’s second-largest city which the militants have named as the capital of their self-declared Caliphate.