Saturday, April 25, 2015

Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL Targets



From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

WASHINGTON, April 25, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Fighter aircraft conducted four airstrikes near Kobani, which struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying four ISIL fighting positions and an ISIL boat.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Fighter, attack, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Fallujah, five airstrikes struck five tactical units, destroying two vehicles, two heavy machine guns, one IED, two fighting positions, and disabled one fighting position.

-- Near Mosul, four airstrikes destroyed three buildings, four heavy machine guns and two ISIL vehicles.

-- Near Ramadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL trench.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

ISIL Takes Defensive Posture in Iraq, Centcom Says



By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, April 24, 2015 – U.S. Central Command officials believe the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorist group is on the defensive in Iraq, Centcom spokesman Air Force Col. Patrick Ryder told reporters here today.

In the second operational teleconference update on Operation Inherent Resolve in a week, Ryder said ISIL is no longer seizing large swaths of Iraq territory.

“While initial reports may sometimes give the impression [ISIL is on the offensive], we see no evidence that they’re able to do so,” he said.

Ryder said ISIL likely will conduct “limited scope attacks” to disrupt Iraqi security forces and hold onto territory, where possible, for propaganda purposes.

ISIL Strategy is Propaganda

“Recent events in Beiji and other areas have demonstrated that a key tactic employed by ISIL continues to be the use of propaganda to amplify and portray their actions as more effective and larger in scope than they actually are,” Ryder said.

Recent ISIL-sourced images and video depict alleged terrorist successes, which are meant to lend the extremists legitimacy and instill fear and doubt in the population -- in addition to boosting their fighters’ morale, he said.

Iraq Takes Back Beiji

Since last week, Iraqi forces with coalition support have gained control of Beiji’s oil refinery, the spokesman said.

“They’re now conducting clearing operations and successfully repelling ISIL’s attempts to [re-]gain control of the refinery,” Ryder said.

Control of Ramadi remains contested as “ISIL attempts to consolidate and defend the territory they regained in portions of eastern Ramadi,” Ryder said.

Even though ISIL has conducted a few attacks in Ramadi this week, Iraqi forces have quickly responded and continue to make progress there, he noted.

“Iraqi counterterrorism service and federal police have been focused on clearing northern Ramadi, and in the last few days have brought in reinforcements to help support these efforts,” Ryder said.

Commander Visits Iraqi Leaders

Centcom’s commander, Army Gen. Lloyd J. Austin III, recently traveled to Iraq and met with the country’s key leaders, the spokesman said.

“In each of the discussions on the military campaign and recent operations in Beiji and Ramadi, [Austin] emphasized the importance of quickly gaining and maintaining support of all Iraqi people -- Shiite, Sunnis and Kurds,” Ryder said.

Ryder said Austin also re-emphasized how the conflict in Iraq will not be solved through a military basis, but will require a diplomatic or political solution above and beyond the efforts to defeat ISIL. Austin’s visit to Iraq was “very productive,” spokesman added.

ISIL’s Ability in Syria Diminishing

Coalition forces have conducted more than 1,400 airstrikes against ISIL in Syria, Ryder said.

Those airstrikes have degraded ISIL’s ability “to amass forces, sustain and finance themselves to command and control their forces,” the spokesman said.

Meanwhile, he added, the Kurds in northern Syria, such as Kobani, continue to push ISIL back.

“When you look across the entire battlespace and look at where ISIL was last summer and look at where ISIL is today, [they] continue to be on the defensive in Iraq and they’re losing territory,” Ryder said.

Thursday, April 23, 2015

Airstrikes Continue Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq



From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, April 23, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack, fighter and bomber aircraft conducted five airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Kobani, four airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL fighting positions.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Fighter, attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 16 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Asad, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL command and control facility.

-- Near Qaim, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Beiji, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and two ISIL Stryker vehicles, destroying an ISIL vehicle and an ISIL armored vehicle.

-- Near Fallujah, five airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL building.

-- Near Mosul, three airstrikes struck an ISIL security headquarters, destroying an ISIL excavator.

-- Near Ramadi, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL sniper position, an ISIL house rigged with explosives, and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike destroyed three ISIL buildings and three ISIL fighting positions.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.