There are still pockets of ISIS fighters in Syria trying to reorganize, but this weekend the US and SDF forces dealt a heavy blow to their plans by destroying 150 of them in an airstrike over the weekend:
CNN – The US-led coalition fighting ISIS killed approximately 150 ISIS fighters in a Saturday airstrike, Col. Ryan Dillon, a spokesman for the coalition, told CNN Tuesday.
The target of the strike was an “ISIS headquarters and command and control center,” Dillon said, adding that the strike involved “over a week’s worth” of intelligence work involving multiple kinds of coalition intelligence as well as information from US-backed Syrian Democratic Forces fighting ISIS on the ground.
A statement from the coalition said that the location was “exclusively” occupied by ISIS fighters and was under constant surveillance, ruling out the possibility of civilian casualties.
Dillon said the strike took place in the Syrian town of As Shafah, located in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, an area where remnants of ISIS continue to operate.
A US military official said the strike was carried out by US Navy F/A-18 jets and unmanned drone aircraft. The aircraft carrier USS Theodore Roosevelt is currently operating in the Gulf in support of strikes against ISIS in Syria.
“It looked like they were massing for a movement,” Dillon said noting that it was rare for ISIS fighters to gather in such a large group.
“When they do congregate … like that we want to take advantage of it,” he added.
“The strikes underscore our assertion that the fight to liberate Syria is far from over,” Maj. Gen. James Jarrard, the commander of the coalition’s Special Operations Joint Task Force in Syria, said in a statement following the strike.
Jarrard added that coalition troops and members of the Syrian Democratic Forces “are still finding, targeting and killing ISIS terrorists intent on keeping their extremist hold on the region.”
“We cannot take our focus off our mission, and we must not lose our momentum in taking these terrorists off the battlefield and preventing them from resurfacing somewhere else,” he added.
It’s always a good day when ISIS loses this many soldiers, especially in Syria, which they used to call home. They’ve been routed from Raqqa and now their remains are being vaporized by US coalition forces.
Unfortunately the Obama administration did little to stop ISIS as it was growing in 2014/2015, so now they are spread all over the Middle East, especially in Africa. So the fighting is far from over.
This here is also a good example of why the US is so worried about Turkey wanting to invade Manbij after they are done with Afrin. As we reported this week, the US and the SDF have forces in Manbij and they’d like to stay there. But Turkey is intent on taking that territory as part of their war against a Kurdish state.