Belgian F-16s Deployed Again for Anti-ISIL Operations

Six Belgian F-16AMs at Azraq-Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, Jordan, during their previous deployment to support coalition operations against ISIL in Iraq.

Another six departed from Belgium for Jordan yesterday and during their new deployment they will also undertake air strikes in Syria. Belgian Defence

SIX BELGIAN Defence-Air Component F-16 Fighting Falcons departed from Kliene-Brogel Air Base for Jordan yesterday, June 27, to join the Operation Inherent Resolve coalition fighting against ISIL.  The detachment, known as Operation Desert Falcon, will operate from Azraq-Muwaffaq Salti Air Base, taking over today from Royal Netherlands Air Force F-16s currently deployed there.

As previously reported on AFD, Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michel and Defence Minister Steven Vandeput had announced on May 13 that Belgian F-16s were to rejoin the coalition air campaign against ISIL.   They also said that air strikes would be carried out in Syria as well as Iraq.

Although this will be Belgium’s second rotation of F-16s for the anti-ISIL campaign, it will be the first time their operations have extended into Syria.  Previously, the aircraft had deployed in October 2014 and returned home to Florennes on July 2, 2015, but only carried out air strikes in Iraq.  Their operations had ended because Belgium did not have sufficient funds in the defence budget at that time to continue missions beyond the end of June 2015. 

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