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U.S. Backing Turkish Military Units Battling ISIS
American warplanes and combat advisers are once again backing Turkish military units battling Islamic State fighters in northern Syria, the most tangible indication yet that months of tension between the NATO allies may be easing.
Four airstrikes, occurring Tuesday near the town of al Bab, hit Islamic State construction equipment and tactical vehicles, including an armored personnel carrier, said Air Force Col. John Dorrian, a spokesman for the U.S.-led coalition based in Baghdad. Dorrian indicated the mission, developed with Turkish commanders, most likely was enabled by American ground troops working nearby.
"One of the things that we very much prize is to have boots on the ground operating in proximity to, or directly with, our partner forces. That's the preferred alternative," Dorrian said, when asked whether airstrikes conducted in support of Turkey require spotting by American air controllers who can see the desired targets. "And that is one of the reasons why we have to be very careful, especially on a very crowded and complex battlefield with a lot of different actors to make sure that we're hitting the targets that we intend to hit."
Recent Fallen Grads
- COL Charles Spieth Jr. USAF(Retired), USMA1943JUN: 20 Jun 1920 - 20 Mar 2017
- Mr. Paul S. Ache Jr., USMA1950: 07 Dec 1927 - 19 Mar 2017
- Mr. Jack Edmund Gerke, USMA1968: 04 Apr 1946 - 19 Mar 2017
- COL Millard H. Singleton USA (Retired), USMA1950: 21 Nov 1927 - 16 Mar 2017
- Mr. Julian P. Hunnicutt Jr. USA(Retired), USMA1949: 15 Jun 1927 - 15 Mar 2017
- LTC Cornell McKenzie USA (Retired), USMA1976: 07 Aug 1954 - 13 Mar 2017
- Mr. William H. Stuart, USMA1953: 12 Jun 1931 - 12 Mar 2017
- Honorable Edward B. Kime Jr., USMA1956: 16 Oct 1933 - 10 Mar 2017
- Mr. Jack D. Trawick, USMA1955: 17 Dec 1932 - 09 Mar 2017
- MG Joseph P. Franklin USA (Retired), USMA1955: 28 Aug 1933 - 08 Mar 2017
- COL James E. Walsh Jr. USA (Retired), USMA1959: 11 Jul 1936 - 08 Mar 2017
- MG Donald V. Rattan USA (Retired), USMA1945: 12 Sep 1924 - 08 Mar 2017
- LTC Michael R. Bridges USA, USMA1987: 06 Oct 1962 - 07 Mar 2017
- COL Robert C. Bacon USA (Retired), USMA1956: 14 Dec 1933 - 06 Mar 2017
- LTC Gerald L. Irwin USAF (Retired), USMA1956: 20 Apr 1933 - 05 Mar 2017
- COL Bickford E. Sawyer Jr. USA (Retired), USMA1945: 17 Oct 1922 - 05 Mar 2017
- COL Milton S. Newberry USA (Retired), USMA1959: 16 Jul 1937 - 04 Mar 2017
- LTC Ernest T. Hayes Jr. USA (Retired), USMA1950: 28 Oct 1927 - 28 Feb 2017
- COL Carroll H. Dunn Jr. USA(Retired), USMA1966: 11 Sep 1943 - 26 Feb 2017
- Dr. William A. Gager Jr., USMA1954: 20 Apr 1931 - 23 Feb 2017
- COL Richard H. Hansen USAF (Retired), USMA1956: 11 May 1934 - 22 Feb 2017
- BG Michael J. Tashjian USAF (Retired), USMA1948: 08 Dec 1925 - 22 Feb 2017
- COL Richard D. Garlick USA (Retired), USMA1958: 06 Nov 1932 - 21 Feb 2017
- LTC John C. Matousek USA (Retired), USMA1974: 15 Jun 1952 - 18 Feb 2017
- LTC William H. Schwoob USAF (Retired), USMA1950: 19 Oct 1927 - 18 Feb 2017
- COL Daniel J. Coonan III USAF (Retired), USMA1966: 10 Dec 1944 - 17 Feb 2017
- COL Robert B. Tully USA (Retired), USMA1946: 12 Nov 1923 - 16 Feb 2017
- Mr. Arthur W. Wild, USMA1954: 19 Jul 1930 - 14 Feb 2017
- Mr. John M. McClellan, USMA1970: 18 Aug 1948 - 12 Feb 2017
- LTG Harold G. "Hal" Moore, Jr USA (Retired), USMA1945: 13 Feb 1922 - 10 Feb 2017