The Washington Post’s Craig Whitlock went into great detail Tuesday explaining how the United States is likely flying most of its fighter jets targeting militants in Iraq from bases in Qatar, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates. Drones involved in airstrikes also are likely flying from Turkey, which borders both Iraq and Syria.
Above is a map of all the locations the United States can launch aircraft to strike in Iraq. The United States hasn’t specified which kind of aircraft has been involved in the individual strikes, concerned about the sensitivities that go with launching them from other countries in the region.
Army Lt. Gen. William C. Mayville Jr., director of operations for the Joint Staff, said earlier this month that F-16s, F-15Es and MQ-1 Predator drones are all involved in the airstrikes. The Navy also continues to fly fighter jets from the USS George H.W. Bush aircraft carrier to take part in them.
U.S. Central Command also announced last week that some recent strikes have been carried out by “attack aircraft,” designating them separately from the fighter jets without specifying what they are. It’s possible they are KC-130 planes or something similar, which can be equipped with Hellfire missiles and other weapons.