Suspected U.S. drone kills Islamic State figure in Syria – monitor
The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said about 80 Islamic State fighters had been killed since Sunday morning in the fighting and U.S.-led airstrikes.
Carter, speaking at a news conference with French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, said air strikes targeting bridges andIslamic State positions around its declared capital of Raqqa were aimed at limiting the group’s “freedom of movement and ability to counter those capable Kurdish forces”.
The Associated PressWASHINGTON (AP) – U.S. President Barack Obama portrayed the U.S.-led coalition Monday as gaining ground against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militant group amid an expanded US effort and ample signs of progress, but conceded more difficulties lay ahead in fighting what he described as a nimble and opportunistic enemy.
Obama said the coalition would also continue to target the oil and gas, and financial infrastructure that funds the Islamic State’s operations, and to speed up the delivery of military equipment to Iraqi forces battling the organization.
“This is a long-term campaign”, the USA president said.
The United States and other countries must remain vigilant against “lone wolves” who might be inspired by the Islamic State to launch terrorist attacks, Obama said. Yet the terrorist group is still in control of Ain Issa, a town north of Raqqa, after it was captured from the YPG on Monday, the Observatory said.
And in recent weeks, they seized the key town of Tal Abyad from IS, depriving the group of a conduit through which it transported weapons and fighters.
“It is an important victory for Daesh”, said Rami Abdul Rahman, head of the Observatory, using an Arabic acronym for Islamic State.
Republican Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said Obama is relying on Iran to carry out the fight, “allowing the ayatollahs to expand their malign regional influence”.
And dozens of families fled the IS-held town of Palmyra after regime planes launched some 90 air raids in less than 48 hours.
“More Sunni volunteers are coming forward”, he said.
It lost contact with Father Dhiya Aziz, from the Christian village of Yacoubieh, on Saturday.
The visit to the Pentagon follows a weekend of heavy coalition air strikes against Daesh stronghold in eastern Syria.
“In many places in Syria and Iraq, it’s dug in among an innocent civilian population”.
Most of Idlib province is now held by a coalition of rebels, including Nusra.
Turkey’s army said on Tuesday it had detained nearly 800 people trying to cross into Turkey illegally from Syria. “Over the previous year, ISIL has expanded its reach exponentially – and the group’s influence continues to grow”, said Senator Tom Cotton, an Obama critic.