US-Led Coalition Reports on New Strikes in Syria, Iraq
WASHINGTON (Sputnik) – In recent weeks, the US military has reduced the amount of information released in periodic strike reports from Syria and Iraq – a period in which about 2,000 US ground forces began preparations to withdraw from Syria.
Unlike past US-led coalition strike reports, Tuesday’s release contained, however, no details of the Syrian strikes. The report covered the period between 30 December and 6 January, the release said.
The US-led coalition concentrated airstrikes and coordinated fires on Syria’s middle Euphrates River Valley and Iraq’s Anbar Province during the first week of the new year, while American backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) freed the town of al-Kashmah from the Daesh terror group, Combined Joint Task Force — Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) announced in a press release on Tuesday.
“In Iraq, CJTF-OIR and partner forces destroyed more than 600 IEDs [improvised explosive devices] throughout the Anbar Province. Coordinated airstrikes across Iraq destroyed approximately nine ISIS [Daesh*] weapon caches and removed an estimated ten ISIS [Daesh] terrorists from the battlefield.”
In Syria, the SDF liberated the Euphrates River town of al-Kashmah and rescued civilians as they fled from Daesh terrorists, who attempted to hide in residential facilities and public buildings, the release said.The northeastern regions of Syria are currently controlled by the US-backed SDF. While the SDF is one of the parties engaged in conflict with the Syrian government — Damascus considers its actions as illegal — it is determined to fight off the remaining strongholds of terrorism in the country, just as the central government is.
US President Donald Trump announced in December that the US troops would leave Syria. US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo confirmed last week that Washington would pull out its troops, adding that the United States would continue its campaign against terrorism.According to the US-led coalition’s earlier reports, since the establishment of CJTF-OIR in 2014, the Coalition has reclaimed more than 99 percent of the Daesh’s previously held ground of more than 100,000 square kilometers, roughly equivalent in size to Britain. The Coalition grew from 70 nations and four partner organizations to 74 nations and five partner organizations in 2018, with the addition of the Philippines in February, Republic of Guinea and the Community of Sahel-Sahran States in June, Kenya in August, and Fiji in September.
© AP Photo / Bram Janssen
The US-led international coalition has conducted strikes in Syria without the consent of the government in Damascus, while Baghdad has given its consent for operations on Iraqi territory.