Poland Says Could Send F-16s to Fight IS


NATO member Poland is ready to send four F-16 warplanes to fight the Islamic State group in Syria and Iraq, a senior defense official said Monday.

The move came after NATO signaled last week it was considering joining the U.S.-led coalition fighting the jihadists.

"We're ready to take part in patrols and have proposed four warplanes," presidential security advisor Pawel Soloch told Polish Radio, while ruling out any troop deployment.

Soloch said the Polish offer was "an expression of solidarity with our allies", adding that "Poland expects the same solidarity" from NATO regarding security along its eastern flank.

Spooked by the Ukraine crisis and Russia's 2014 annexation of Crimea, eastern European NATO members once ruled from Moscow are demanding that the transatlantic alliance station troops permanently on its eastern flank.

NATO leaders are expected to formally endorse the deployment of significant troop rotations to the area at a July summit in Poland, a move that has angered Moscow.