US fighter jets in Turkey to provide cover-fire for militants: Analyst

The US military’s recent deployment of a dozen attack planes to an airbase in southern Turkey is intended to provide cover for terrorist groups fighting in Syria and attack Syrian government forces, a US military analyst based in California says.

The A-10 ground-attack planes may be used to attack Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s army and give the US-backed militants cover-fire, said Scott Bennett, a former US Army psychological warfare officer.

“If that is one of the moves,” Bennett said, “then Russia needs to immediately step in and guarantee protective cover-fire” to the Syrian army.

The fighter jets may also be used to protect Turkey form terrorist attacks inside the country, he told Press TV on Wednesday.

A US official said Tuesday that the Pentagon has deployed a dozen A-10 ground-attack planes to the Incirlik airbase in southern Turkey.

They have already been scheduled to help the US-led coalition fighting against Daesh (ISIL) in Iraq and Syria, the US official, speaking on condition of anonymity, told AFP.

The official claimed that the deployment had “added capability” to the coalition’s fight against ISIL.

Known by soldiers on the ground as “Warthogs,” A-10 is a tactical military aircraft that has a primary role of carrying out airstrikes with greater precision than bombers.

The planes are heavily strengthened and designed to withstand direct hits from armor-piercing rounds.

The US says Russia has directed parts of its military campaign in Syria against US-backed militants fighting the Assad government.

US officials say the CIA-trained militants are now under Russian missile strikes with little prospect of rescue by their American supporters.

“Russia and Iran should present themselves as the forces of stability in Syria. They are of course interested in a stable region and not the chaos and bloodshed that the United States has been funding,” Bennett.

By Press TV