Belgium’s Operation Desert Falcon F-16 detachment recently had its mission in the Middle East extended, as Benoît Denet reports.


SIX BELGIAN F-16s have been based at Muwaffaq Salti Air Base (MSAB), near Azraq, Jordan, under Operation Desert Falcon (ODF), since July 1 last year. Tasked with strikes against so-called Islamic State (IS) targets in Iraq and Syria, they have flown just 17% of their attacks in Syria. By March 2017, ODF’s F-16s had accumulated 3,229 flying hours, with the rate of operations increasing following the launch of the offensive to retake Mosul, Iraq, last October.

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