American fighter jets will be flying over the Syrian territory within days in the wake of the Turkish government's green-light to the Pentagon to fly manned aircraft out of airbases in the country.
Pentagon spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis said on Thursday that preparations are underway to bring manned aircraft to the Incirlik Air Base, near the southern city of Adana in Turkey.
The ability to fly out of Incirlik and other Turkish air bases increases the United States' ability “to effectively and efficiently get more aircraft over targets in a timely fashion,” Davis added.
Turkey officially agreed to open its air bases to US last month, after years of reluctance to take a frontline role against the ISIL.
Officials announced they were restricting US military personnel, DOD civilians and dependents from traveling to a swathe of southern Turkey that borders Syria.
The Pentagon conducted its first drone strike out of Incirlik Air Base over the weekend, officials said.
The attacks followed President Barack Obama’s approval to provide air cover for a group of militants who were trained and equipped by the United States to fight ISIL in Syria.
The Wall Street Journal reported that the new rules that the Pentagon recommended and Obama approved this week will apply only to militant forces trained and equipped by the United States.
The officials said they are confident to avoid a standoff with the Assad government because it has not challenged US air operations in Syria over the last year.
They said that “that day would never come” because it would ignite a direct conflict between Washington and Damascus.
Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem also said Wednesday that Syria supported efforts to combat the ISIL, provided they were coordinated with Damascus.
"For us in Syria there is no moderate opposition and immoderate opposition. Whoever carries weapons against the state is a terrorist," he was quoted by a Syrian television channel.
Last month, the US military announced that it would send its first batch of trained militants into Syria in the next several weeks to fight the ISIL.
Analysts, however, say many of the US-trained militants could eventually find themselves on the side of the ISIL Takfiris against a common enemy on the ground — the Syrian government forces.
"The United States contacted us before they sent in this group and said they are fighting against Daesh (ISIL) and not the Syrian army at all," Moualem said.
Syria has been gripped by deadly unrest since March 2011. The United States and its regional allies -- especially Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Turkey -- are supporting the militants operating inside the country.
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