US Pulls Fighter Jets From Turkey
The U.S. suddenly pulled twelve Air Force F-15 fighter jets from Turkey Thursday, less than two months after they were stationed to guard the NATO member.
The war planes, stationed at Incirlik airbase in Turkey, were also striking at Isis targets.
The move comes a day after intense diplomatic negotiations between U.S. Secretary State John Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov. Kerry also met with Russian president Vladimir Putin for three hours on Wednesday.
After the meeting, Kerry told reporters that the U.S. was not seeking “regime change” in Syria, an apparent about-face from a long-standing objective to ending the four-year conflict there. A meeting between the U.S., Russia, and several other nations about Syria is scheduled to take place in New York City tomorrow.
Pentagon officials were quick to deny the removal of the F-15 jets was part of the U.S.-Russian negotiations, or a result of continuing tensions between Russia and Turkey.
The Airforce Times reports that a dozen A-10 Warthog close-air support fighters will remain at the base, located about 100 miles from the border with Syria.
The Pentagon also confirmed that the jets departed a day after Joint Chiefs Chairman Gen. Joseph Dunford conferred by phone with his Russian counterpart, chief of staff Valery Gerasimov.
President Obama plans to visit the Pentagon on Monday.