While Turkey continues comprehensive airstrikes against the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) as part of the U.S.-led coalition, military sources say that Qatari warplanes will be deployed from İncirlik Air Base and participate in the airstrikes in the coming days.
Turkey agreed to the deployment of U.S. warplanes from İncirlik Air Base in the southern province of Adana in July, and after weeks of preparation U.S. and Turkish warplanes started to hit ISIS targets in Syria. According to military sources, the scope of the military operations from Turkish air bases will be expanded with the participation of the Qatari air forces. Accordingly, Qatari warplanes will be deployed from İncirlik Air Base in the coming days and participate in joint airstrikes with Turkish and U.S. warplanes after the completion of logistical preparations. While the Qatari side remained silent and declined to comment on the issue, military sources said that the number of Qatari warplanes that will be deployed from Turkish air bases would be decided when the planning stage is concluded. Sources also indicated Qatari airplanes can use airbases other than İncirlik if necessary.
Qatar is already an active member of the U.S.-led anti-ISIS coalition and currently participating in the train-and-equip program for the moderate Syrian opposition. Moreover, Turkey and Qatar, which are close allies, signed a comprehensive military and defense industry agreement last year. The agreement came into effect in June, and it outlines intelligence sharing between Qatar and Turkey as well as military cooperation and the deployment of forces in each other's territory. Both countries will exchange operational training experiences, cooperate in defense industries and hold joint military exercises. The agreement also allows Turkey and Qatar the use of each other's ports, airports and airspace. Turkey and Qatar have also agreed to cooperate in fighting terrorism. Therefore, sources indicated that in the case of the deployment of Qatari warplanes, there is no need to sign and ratify a new agreement.