#AceNewsServices – WASHINGTON:Dec.20 – Pentagon reports that U.S. and coalition air strikes have killed multiple senior and mid-level Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) leaders since mid-November, it was reported Thursday.
A U.S. official confirmed the deaths of at least two senior leaders and a mid-level leader that was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
Between Dec. 3-9, U.S. airstrikes killed Abd al Basit, the “military emir” of ISIS, and Haji Mutazz, ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi’s right hand man, the official confirmed.
“We believe that the loss of these key leaders degrades [ISIS’s] ability to command and control current operations against Iraqi Security Forces (ISF), including Kurdish and other local forces in Iraq,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement Thursday.
In late November, another strike killed a mid-level commander, Radwin Talib, ISIS’s governor in Mosul, the official confirmed.
“It is disruptive to their planning and command and control,“ Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff told the Journal in an interview Thursday. “These are high-value targets, senior leadership.”
The deaths reflected some progress in the four-month long fight. The top U.S. commander in Iraq told reporters Thursday that the coalition was seeing “initial successes” in the fight.
“My assessment is that Daesh has been halted [and is in] transition to the defense, and is attempting to hold what they currently have,” Army Lt. Gen. James Terry said at a Pentagon briefing, using a derogatory Arabic name for the terror group.
The U.S. has deployed 1,600 troops to Iraq, and the U.S.-led coalition has conducted 1,361 airstrikes against ISIS, Terry said.
The general added that ISIS was unable to launch broad offensives, which hurts the group’s propaganda and outreach. He also said ISIS was having a harder time commanding and communicating with their forces in battle and resupplying fighters.
“We will continue to be persistent in this regard and we will strike Daesh at every possible opportunity,” he said.
#AceNewsServices – PENTAGON – Dec.03 – Iran has launched airstrikes against Islamic State militants in eastern Iraq in recent days, the Pentagon confirms.
According to spokesperson Rear Adm. John Kirby, the strikes were not co-ordinated with the US military and may be the first of their kind.
Though BBC Middle East an hour ago issued this statement: ‘The Pentagon says Iranian war planes have been bombing Islamic State targets – a claim Iran denies ‘
“We have indications that they did indeed fly airstrikes with F-4 Phantoms in the past several days,” Kirby told AFP.
It may be the first time Tehran has launched manned aircraft from inside Iran to strike Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) targets in Iraq, Kirby told AP.
#AceWorldNews – SYRIA – Nov.30 – US forces unleashed at least 30 air strikes against Islamic State [IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL] forces in the northern Syrian province of Raqqa on Saturday, according to the UK-based Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, Reuters reported.
The air strikes targeted militant positions in the northern suburbs of Raqqa city, a strategic stronghold of the Islamist group.
At least 50 extremists from the Islamic State (formerly ISIS) have been killed in US-led airstrikes in the past 24 hours in the town of Kobane, Syria, said the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
The monitor added that the number of deaths was one of the highest daily tolls since the extremists started their assault on Kobani in September.
US-led strikes also hit the 17th Division, a Syrian army base the Islamic State seized in July, the monitoring group reported.
#AceNewsServices – SYRIA – Nov.29 – Syria’s foreign minister has said US-led air strikes had failed to weaken the grip of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) in Syria and the group would not be tackled unless Turkey was forced to tighten border controls according to Al-Jazeera USA.
A US-led alliance started attacking ISIL targets in Syria in September as part of a wider effort to destroy the al-Qaeda offshoot that has seized large areas of the country and neighbouring Iraq.
“All the indications say that (Islamic State) today, after two months of coalition air strikes, is not weaker,” Walid al-Moualem, the foreign minister, said in an interview with the Beirut-based Al Mayadeen TV broadcast on Friday.
The Syrian government has said it was willing to join the fight against ISIL, but the US refuses to deal with President Bashar al-Assad, who it says has lost legitimacy and must leave power.
“If the Security Council and Washington do not force Turkey to control its borders then all of this action will not eliminate [ISIL],” Moualem said, referring to foreign fighters who have crossed into Syria from Turkey.
Turkey, which has a 900km frontier with Syria, has strongly denied accusations it has supported fighters, inadvertently or otherwise, in its enthusiasm to help Syrian rebels topple Assad.
Turkish designs alleged
Thousands of foreign fighters are believed to have joined the ISIL in their self-proclaimed caliphate, carved out of eastern Syria and western Iraq.
Moualem said Turkish calls for the establishment of a no-fly zone in northern Syria would lead to the partition of the country, adding that Turkey had designs on Syrian territory.
|Pinpointing military and humanitarian aid from nations in the international struggle against the armed group.|