Congress has not declared war against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (abbreviated ISIL or ISIS, and also called the Islamic State) but US airstrikes continue raining down on the aspiring theocratic world government.
Rapid territorial gains from ISIL military operations in Iraq and Syria during the first half of 2014, combined with internationally condemned brutality, reported human rights abuses, and the fear of further spillovers of the Syrian Civil War caused many countries to consider interventions.
The common enemy has made strange allies among nations that have long been hostile to one another.
Iran and its ally Hezbollah were the first to take direct action on the ground, supported by fighters and drones. The United States started sending troops to Iraq in June 2014, and began a large-scale air campaign over the region starting in August 2014.
President Barack Obama announced on September 10, 2014 that he would begin to pursue airstrikes in Syria with or without congressional approval; he also announced that the number of airstrikes in Iraq would increase.
For about four months, the continuing U.S. warfare in Iraq has been of such an ambiguous nature that the Pentagon did not know what campaign medals to award personnel after their involvement.
The Defense Department announced at the end of October 2014 that troops operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve after June 15 were eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal.
Few people suggest that there is nothing to worry about.
In February 2015, Iraq’s Prime Minister declared that the fight against ISIL was effectively “World War III”, due to the radical group’s declaration of a global caliphate, its aims to conquer the world, and its success in spreading the conflict to multiple countries outside of the Levant region.
Some western political leaders, however, argue that American involvement in the religious civil war will push Islamic people toward the brutal organization that has employed terrorism and conventional military action.
Thousands of civilians were executed by ISIL forces, and 2 American journalists, 2 American humanitarian workers, 1 American oil worker, 2 British humanitarian workers, 1 French tourist 1 Japanese journalist, 1 Japanese businessman, 1 Jordanian pilot, and 21 Coptic Egyptian Christians have been killed as hostages.
The United States Senate Committee on Foreign Relations authorized U.S. military force against ISIL in December 2014, but it limits it to three years, requires a report to Congress every 60 days, and prohibits the deployment of American combat troops, except in specific cases, such as those involving the rescue or protection of U.S. soldiers, or for intelligence operations.
According to the latest Pentagon dispatch, U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.
Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.
Airstrikes in Syria
-Near Al Hasakah, two airstrikes struck one large and one small ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL fighting positions and a vehicle.
-Near Aleppo, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL ant-aircraft artillery piece and an ISIL fighting positon.
-Near Ar Raqqah, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying three ISIL fighting positons, an ISIL rocket system, an ISIL motorcycle and an ISIL weapon transportation vehicle.
-Near Kobani, five airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units, destroying two ISIL vehicles and two ISIL mortar systems.
Airstrikes in Iraq
-Near Al Qaim, one airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit, destroying an ISIL vehicle.
-Near Bayji, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL bridge, destroying an ISIL vehicle.
-Near Makhmur, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit, an ISIL mortar position and an ISIL rocket position, destroying three ISIL heavy machine guns and an ISIL building.
-Near Sinjar, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, destroying four ISIL buildings, an ISIL heavy machine gun and an ISIL vehicle.
-Near Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and an ISIL heavy machine gun, destroying two ISIL buildings, an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL vehicle.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
Part of Operation Inherent Resolve
The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations.
Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Canada, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.
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