U.S. details continued military strikes against IS in Syria, Iraq

By Sara Shayanian  |  Updated Jan. 5, 2018 at 12:04 PM
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Jan. 5 (UPI) -- U.S. military forces conducted 58 strikes against Islamic State terrorists in Syria and Iraq between Dec. 29 and Jan. 4, the Department of Defense said Friday.

The strikes, part of Operation Inherent Resolve -- the charge to destroy IS in Syria and Iraq, were 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.

The Department of Defense said that the destruction of Islamic State targets in the two countries "further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world."

The strikes in Syria were conducted near Abu Kamal and destroyed numerous vehicles, headquarters, supply routes, logistics centers and heavy weapons controlled by the Islamic State.

No strikes were reported in Iraq between Jan. 1-4. However, between Dec. 30-31, U.S. military forces destroyed an IS tunnel system near Beiji and five IS fighting positions, two tunnel entrances and a weapons cache near Mosul.

According to the Department of Defense, a strike is defined as "one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect."

The U.S.-led coalition said late last month it killed at least 817 civilians in strikes while fighting the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria since 2014.

The Combined Joint Task Force for Operation Inherent Resolve said the civilians were "unintentionally killed" and "much work remains to ensure the enduring defeat of the terror group."

U.S. Major Shane Huff, a spokesman for the Central Command, called the strikes "one of the most precise air campaigns in military history."

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