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US F-16s Fly 1st Anti-IS Missions from Turkey

Six U.S. F-16 Fighting Falcons from Aviano Air Base, Italy, arrive at Incirlik Air Base, Turkey, to take part in anti-Islamic State missions, Aug. 9, 2015.

The United States says it has begun flying manned missions from a Turkish air base to deliver airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria.

The Pentagon released a statement late Wednesday saying the F-16 airstrikes began earlier that day, launched from Incirlik Air Base in southern Turkey.

The coalition began flying unmanned missions from the base earlier this month.

Turkey agreed last month to let U.S. forces use the Incirlik air base near Turkey's southern border with Syria.

Officials have described the plan as an effort to create an "Islamic State-free zone" stretching about 100 kilometers in length in northern Syria. It would not include a no-fly zone in the region, despite longstanding demands by the Turkish government for one.

The U.S. has been leading a coalition of countries conducting airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria since September of last year.