- Associated Press - Wednesday, June 15, 2016

WARSAW, Poland (AP) - Poland’s defense minister says his country is prepared to deploy four F-16 fighters in a NATO reconnaissance mission against Islamic State fighters in the Middle East.

It would be Poland’s first contribution to the effort, though the minister, Antoni Macierewicz, said they would not take part in combat.

Macierewicz spoke Wednesday in Brussels, following a meeting of defense ministers from NATO countries.

He said the F-16s are to go on a “reconnaissance mission in the area” and should arrive in the Middle East before the July 8-9 NATO summit, to be held in Warsaw. He did not say in which country they would be based.

“We are ready, the crews are ready for takeoff,” Macierewicz said. The decision now awaits approval of the president, seen as a formality.

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