Air Power Vital to Counter-ISIL Success, Commander Says

“We've had notable success in targeting [ISIL’s] financial resources,” Brown said, adding that ISIL has been forced to cut its fighters’ pay as a result of strikes carried out to disrupt its illicit financial operations.

Videos showed Air Force and Navy aircraft using precision-guided munitions in airstrikes on financial storage and distribution centers, which Brown explained were planned to minimize collateral damage and to confine risk to just a matter of minutes.

Since the counter-ISIL campaign began about 18 months ago, the coalition has expended 519 weapons and conducted 119 strikes on bulk cash sites, gas and oil separation plants and crude oil collection points, Brown said.

Another video shown during Brown’s briefing demonstrated how recent United Kingdom and Saudi Arabian airstrikes used four precision-guided munitions to destroy a weapons storage facility, limiting ISIL’s ability to resupply its fighters, he said.

The Iraqi security forces’ ability to retake the city of Ramadi from ISIL control is one example of how vital air power is in the counter-ISIL fight, Brown said, adding that airstrikes also have been critical in partner-force operations to take back Sinjar in Iraq and Hasakah, and the Tishrin Dam on the Euphrates River in Syria.

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