By John Lee.
The Christmas and the New Year period brought no respite for fighters of the so called “Islamic State” in Iraq and Syria, with some 100 strikes targeting the group in their key command and control sites including Raqqa in Syria, and Mosul and Fallujah in Iraq.
US Defence officials also reported other strikes– a wave of 29 in the last 48 hrs, which had hit targets in Iraq in Al Qaim (a critical border town) Baiji (where a siege of the 300,000 BPD refinery was recently broken by government forces) and Tal Afar, an important town south of Mosul.
The strikes come at a difficult time for the terror group, with reports of dropping morale inside Mosul, deserting fighters and numerous setbacks on the battlefield, most recently in Dululiyah, a city where Sunni tribes joined Shi’a militias in a rare alliance.
Notably, all of these strikes are hundreds of kilometres to the north of Iraq’s giant oil fields in the south, with the exception of strikes around the Baiji refinery. Meanwhile Kurdish forces, in some cases in joint operations with the Iraqi army, have been pushing forward and recapturing territory toward the Syrian border.
(Source: US Central Command)