U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria on Thursday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported yesterday.
Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Strikes in Syria
In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 12 strikes consisting of 14 engagements against ISIS targets:
- Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed four wellheads, two front-end loaders and an oil inlet manifold.
- Near Raqqa, eight strikes engaged six ISIS tactical units and destroyed three fighting positions, a vehicle, an ISIS-held building and an oil refinement still.
- Near Palmyra, a strike destroyed a tank.
Also in Syria, U.S. forces conducted a March 16 airstrike on an Al Qaida in Syria meeting location in Idlib, Syria, killing several terrorists, according to a U.S. Central Command news release. Idlib has been a significant safe haven for al-Qaida in recent years. In January, a strike destroyed an al-Qaida terrorist training camp, where more than 100 fighters were being trained in terror tactics.
Strikes in Iraq
In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 37 engagements against ISIS targets, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
- Near Huwayjah, two strikes engaged an ISIS staging area and destroyed an unmanned aerial vehicle storage facility and a vehicle bomb storage facility.
- Near Mosul, four strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units; destroyed 11 fighting positions, seven vehicles, a recoilless rifle, a heavy machine gun, a rocket-propelled grenade system, an explosives factory, a supply cache and an ISIS-held building; damaged 14 supply routes and a fighting position; and suppressed 13 ISIS mortar teams.
- Near Tal Afar, a strike destroyed a vehicle bomb facility and an ISIS-held building.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.
The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.
Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.
The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
(Source: US Dept of Defense)