Belgium to Deploy F-16 Fighter Jets to Middle East

Belgium is deploying F-16 fighter jets to the Middle East as part of the Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) of the international coalition against the Islamic State (IS).

Four Belgian Air Force F-16s, assigned for the deployment, will depart Florennes Air Base on Tuesday, Sept. 29.

Belgian Defense is following up on the government decision of June 26 this year. Belgium’s commitment is part of the 2015 UN Security Council (UNSC) resolution 2249, which refers to the global threat that Daesh poses to international peace and security ”.

The Belgian government’s decision provides for an operational commitment for a period of one year.

A detachment with a hundred Belgian soldiers will support the deployment of the aircraft. All members of the detachment have already been deployed to the region in recent weeks. Prior to the deployment, all members of the detachment were placed in quarantine in light of the current COVID-19 outbreak. The first rotation is mainly composed of soldiers from the air base of Florennes.

“The renewed commitment is necessary to prevent a revival of IS”, said a Belgian Defense statement.

The aircraft, pilots and support personnel will conduct operations from an air base in the Middle East. The aircraft can be used to support coalition troops on the ground.

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