US, allies operate 30 air strikes against ISIS

US military says US as well as its allies conduct 30 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

US-led coalition conducted 30 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria

The United States and its allies bombarded ISIS militants on Thursday with 27 air strikes in Iraq and three in Syria, according to a statement released on Friday.

The Combined Joint Task Force, formed by the US to co-ordinate military action against ISIS, said in the statement that the air strikes targeted tactical units and fighting positions near Tuz, Ramadi, Mosul, Fallujah and other locations in Iraq. Vehicles, building and weapons belong to ISIS militants were also destroyed. In Syria, two air strikes hit ISIS positions near Al Hawl. Two excavators near Palmyra were destroyed by one of them.

Former Pentagon official Steven Bucci said on Friday that air strikes alone would not help defeating ISIS highlighting that US President Barack Obama claimed a 12-month bombing campaign would destroy ISIS. He believed, however, ISIS weathered the military campaign.

"In the eyes of their supporters and possible recruits, ISIL [ISIS] is ‘winning’, simply because they have not lost," Bucci said.

The United States launched an operation, Operation Inherent Resolve, containing 62-nation led by the US in August, 2014. The US-led coalition has conducted more than 6,500 air strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria.

Bucci warned the air strikes alone would not defeat ISIS although the military operations by the US and its allies made progress.

"Thus far, the Coalition Operation has failed to accomplish the purpose for which it was started, and has not even had sufficient progress to be called a work in progress," Bucci added.

A US-led coalition has been targeting ISIS positions in Syria and Iraq since September 2014.

Australia confirmed its participation in the US-led coalition against the ISIS militant group in Syria on Wednesday.

France also announced on Monday its plans to join the US-led campaign against ISIS in Syria, which also includes the air force of Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Turkey, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.

Without having a parliamentary mandate to take military action, Britain's air force for the first time conducted an air strike in Syria on Monday, killing two of its own nationals suspected of fighting for ISIS.

The United States and Turkey for the first time in a joint operation conducted 20 air strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria on Aug. 28, as part of the US-led campaign and came after Turkish and US officials announced they had reached a technical agreement concerning cooperation, which calls for Turkey to be fully integrated into the coalition air campaign.

Training Syrian opposition groups is part of the US plan to defeat ISIS militants who have seized swathes of Syria and Iraq since June last year.

Turkey, Saudi Arabia and Qatar had agreed to help opposition groups to fight ISIS. On May 25, Turkey’s Minister of Foreign Affairs Mevlut Cavusoglu announced that Turkey and the US had officially started a joint programme for training and equipping Syrian opposition fighters.

Up to 1,000 US troops would participate in the training of the Syrian opposition according to the agreement signed by US and Turkey on Feb. 17.

For over a year, ISIS militants maintained control of large territories seized in both Iraq and Syria, including Iraq’s second biggest city Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa.

TRTWorld and agencies