Anti-ISIL Forces Make Gains in Iraq, Syria

U.S. Takes Out Bridge, Oil Tankers

On Nov.18 in Ramadi, U.S. forces struck a bridge that was the primary route used by ISIL to send vehicle bombs to attack Iraqi forces south of the city, he said.

“As you’ll see here in a moment, ISIL can no longer use this road to attack the [Iraqi forces],” he said, before showing a video of an American airstrike taking out the bridge.

In Syria, on Nov. 22, U.S. airstrikes destroyed 283 oil tanker trucks, he said. That mission was part of Operation Tidal Wave, which is targeting ISIL’s illicit oil activity. “These trucks are an integral link in the revenue stream that is providing revenue … to … ISIL,” Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said yesterday.

Ruthless Enemy, Changes in Battlefield

The changes in the battlefield, Warren said, include a reduction of personnel at ISIL checkpoints. That is an indication, he said, that perhaps ISIL can’t get as many people out to the posts and “maybe things aren’t as good as they could be in ISIL-land.”

Other changes, he said, include ISIL sending out civilians as bait to get Iraqi Security Forces to respond.

Warren said Iraqi forces in Ramadi observed 22 civilians trying to get away from the fighting on Nov. 18.

“As the civilians neared the [Iraqi forces], ISIL opened fire at the crowd. In the process, they shot and wounded a nine-year-old, little boy,” he said, adding Iraqi forces safely evacuated the civilians. The boy was stabilized and taken to a hospital.

It appeared, Warren said, that ISIL was using the civilians as bait to get the Iraqi forces to come out so they could fire on them.

“This enemy has no regard for human decency, even for the people they claim to be protecting under their so-called caliphate,” he said.

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