Sunday, May 24, 2015

Inherent Resolve Airstrikes Continue in Syria, Iraq



From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, May 24, 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, bomber and fighter aircraft conducted 11 airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, nine airstrikes struck two large and three small ISIL tactical units, destroying eight ISIL fighting positions, four ISIL vehicles, an ISIL tank and an ISIL armored vehicle.

-- Near Kobani, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL fighting position.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 17 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Baghdadi, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Qaim, two airstrikes struck an ISIL explosive manufacturing facility, destroying an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Makhmur, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL buildings and two ISIL heavy machine guns.

-- Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, an ISIL weapons manufacturing facility and an ISIL defensive position, destroying an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL building and an ISIL tank.

-- Near Ramadi, four airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL artillery piece, an ISIL armored personnel carrier and an ISIL armored vehicle, as well as 15 armored vehicles, two armored personnel carriers and two other support vehicles located in ISIL controlled territory.

-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL buildings, an ISIL heavy machine gun, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL artillery piece.

-- Near Tal Afar, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL mortar position, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns and four 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.

Carter: Iraqi Forces Failed to Fight for Ramadi



By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, May 24, 2015 – Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant extremists took control of Ramadi last week when Iraqi forces failed to fight for the city and instead withdrew, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said in an interview broadcast on CNN’s “State of the Union” program this morning.

“What apparently happened is the Iraqi forces just showed no will to fight,” Carter told Barbara Starr, CNN’s Pentagon correspondent. Iraqi security forces must have the will to fight and defend themselves against ISIL extremists, he added.

Iraqi Forces Vastly Outnumbered ISIL Fighters

Iraq’s forces were not outnumbered in the fight for Ramadi when ISIL gained control of the city, the secretary said. “[They] vastly outnumbered the opposing force, and yet they failed to fight,” the secretary said. “They withdrew from the site, and that says to me -- and I think most of us -- that we have an issue with the will of Iraqis to fight ISIL and defend themselves.”

U.S. military forces can provide the Iraqis with equipment and training, but “we obviously can’t give them the will to fight,” Carter said. With equipment, training, coalition support and some time, the secretary added, he hopes the Iraqis will develop that will.

Only Iraqis can defeat ISIL in their own country, the secretary told Starr. “If there comes a time where we need to change the kind of support we’re giving to the Iraqi forces, we’ll make that recommendation,” he said.

Airstrikes Work, But Iraqi Forces Are Necessary

U.S. military and coalition forces have made regular airstrikes against ISIL and its facilities in Iraq since August, but those airstrikes have limitations, the secretary noted. “Airstrikes are effective, but neither they nor anything we do can substitute for the Iraqi forces’ will to fight,” Carter said.

U.S. forces can participate in ISIL’s defeat said the secretary said. “But we can’t make Iraq run as a decent place where people live,” he added. “We can’t sustain the victory.”

No Plans for U.S. Controllers

Carter denied that the Defense Department has recommended putting U.S. forward air controllers –- military personnel who direct fighter pilots to targets -- on the ground in Iraq.

“What happened in Ramadi was a failure of the Iraqi forces to fight,” Carter said. DoD’s efforts, he added, are devoted to providing Iraqi ground forces with equipment, training, “and to try to encourage their will to fight so that our campaign enabling them can be successful, both in defeating ISIL and keeping ISIL defeated in a sustained way.”

Saturday, May 23, 2015

U.S., Coalition Continue Airstrikes Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq


From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

WASHINGTON, May 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, bomber and fighter aircraft conducted five airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Hasakah, two airstrikes destroyed seven ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL tank and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL semi-truck.

-- Near Kobani, an airstrike struck a large ISIL large tactical unit, destroying six ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Tadmur, an airstrike destroyed six ISIL anti-aircraft artillery systems and an ISIL artillery piece.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 22 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Asad, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Beiji, four airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying three ISIL vehicles, an ISIL command and control facility, an ISIL structure and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Haditha, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL structure and an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Kirkuk, an airstrike struck an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Makhmur, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL building and an ISIL mortar system.

-- Near Mosul, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and an ISIL checkpoint, destroying two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL building.

-- Near Ramadi, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying multiple heavy machine guns, two ISIL vehicle bombs, two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL fighting position, and three armored vehicles and a tank in ISIL-controlled territory.

-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying two ISIL buildings and an ISIL heavy machine gun.

-- Near Tal Afar, three airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL heavy machine guns, two ISIL buildings and two 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.