“The base is close to Erbil, the capital of the regional government…The warplanes will do surveillance, but the warplanes which will bomb ISIL targets will not take off from here,”Helgurt Hikmet, spokesperson for the Ministry of Peshmerga (Kurdish self-defense forces) said, as cited by Anadolu Agency.
Turkey’s Hurriyet also reported that the US is preparing documents to get land leasehold for the next 15 years to station US military personnel and warplanes. A number of the US Air Force’s Black Hawk helicopters have already been deployed to Erbil earlier this month, to ensure quick rescue operations to save downed pilots bombing ISIS positions in Northern Iraq. Such operations became a priority after ISIS fighters burnt alive a downed Jordanian pilot.
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