#1275908: The Air Force Just Dropped 80,000 Pounds of Bombs on Island 'Infested' with ISIS Fighters

Description: U.S. F-35A Joint Strike Fighters and F-15 Strike Eagles dropped nearly 80,000 pounds in weapons Tuesday on Islamic State targets on Qanus Island in central Iraq as part of a larger coalition operation against the extremist group, according to a news release.

The U.S.-led international coalition said it targeted ISIS militants on the island, located in the Salah ad Din Province along the Tigris river, to "deny safe haven" for the group, officials said in the release.

Army Col. Myles Caggins, spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve, posted a video of the bomb drop on his official Twitter account.

"Here's what it looks like when @USAFCENT #F15 and #F35 jets drop 36,000 Kg of bombs on a Daesh infested island," he wrote, using a term for ISIS preferred by the military.

Related: US Military Can Conduct CASEVACs Over Iraq Without Permission, Officials Say

Photos corresponding with the announcement show pilots readying for the mission; the video shows dozens of locations struck with bombs.

"We're setting the conditions for our partner forces to continue bringing stability to the region," said Air Force Maj. Gen. Eric Hill, commander of Special Operations Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve.

The goal was to "disrupt [ISIS'] ability to hide in the thick vegetation," the release states.

Iraqi Counter-Terrorism Service forces "continue to conduct ground clearance operations to destroy any remaining [ISIS fighters] on the island," officials said.

While the Strike Eagle has been conducting operations against the Islamic State since the air campaign began in 2014, the Air Force's version of the Lightning II stealth fighter made its combat debut in Iraq in April.

Two F-35s -- the most advanced fighters in the U.S. military's inventory -- were used to conduct an "airstrike using a Joint Direct Attack Munition to strike an entrenched tunnel network and a weapons cache" belonging to the Islamic State deep in the Hamrin Mountains in the northeast part of the country, officials said of the April mission.

The latest strike signals that the air war against ISIS isn't over despite lower strike numbers in Iraq and Syria in recent months.

U.S. military aircraft dropped 218 total munitions on ISIS targets last month, according to recent statistics published by Air Forces Central Command. By comparison, in 2017, aircraft dropped 5,075 in the month of August, more than 20 times last month's total and the highest number of munitions recorded in a single month's time, the data shows.

That year, a record number of bombs -- 39,577 -- was used against the group.
More info: https://www.military.com/daily-news/2019/09/10/air-force-just-dropped-80000-pounds-bombs-island-infested-isis-fighters.html?ESRC=eb_190911.nl

Date added Sept. 11, 2019, 1:39 p.m.
Source Military
Subjects
  • ISIS / Daesh - New Reports In
  • Military / Defence News
  • Terrorist / Govt Intel News