Military Connection: Airstrikes Against Islamic State Continue in 2015

air strikes syria

The U.S. military and its partner-nation allies have continued airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. As part of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, the mission has been designed to eliminate the Islamic State terrorist group, and the threat they pose to Iraq and the wider international community.

President Obama authorized the use of airstrikes against the Islamic State beginning on August 8, 2014. Since then, the U.S. has been joined by Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom in airstrikes in Iraq. Joining the U.S. in airstrikes over Syria are Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates. The airstrikes have wreaked havoc on the Islamic State.

U.S. Central Command recently released data on the airstrikes. Through January 7, 2015, a total of 1,676 coalition air strikes were conducted against various elements of Islamic State, hitting more than 3,200 targets.

The targets damaged or destroyed included: 980 buildings, 673 infantry fighting positions, 259 oil infrastructure sites, 394 miscellaneous vehicles, 303 technical vehicles, 184 Humvees, 92 checkpoints, 79 artillery/anti-aircraft units, 58 tanks, 52 bunkers, 41 staging areas, 26 armored personnel Vehicles, 23 stockpiles, 17 guard shacks, 16 command posts, 14 boats, and 11 improvised explosive device (IED) positions.

The bulk of the vehicles and weaponry, including armored personnel carriers and Humvees, were originally U.S. military property. The equipment was originally sold to Iraq’s government to be used by their security forces, but were captured or otherwise pilfered by the Islamic State.  The boats were reportedly used by the Islamic state to ferry personnel and weaponry across the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Iraq.

Even since this list was disseminated, coalition airstrikes have continued against the Islamic State in Iraq and in Syria as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Seven strikes targeted Islamic State forces in Iraq, destroying five tactical units, two vehicles, a vehicle-born bomb, and a checkpoint. Six strikes targeted Islamic State forces in Syria, destroyed four fighting positions, hit two more fighting positions and a staging area, as well as five Islamic State-controlled crude oil well heads and four crude oil pumps.

While technically not at “war,” American and allied-nation’s pilots are putting themselves in harm’s way each and every time they engage the enemy in airstrikes against the Islamic State. It has been estimated that an average of eleven airstrikes a day have been conducted so far, as part of Operation Inherent Resolve.

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Military Connection: Airstrikes Against Islamic State Continue in 2015: By Debbie Gregory