As Strikes Weaken ISIL
As Strikes Weaken ISIL, Work
Remains, Air Component Commander Says
By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. — (DoD
News) — May 26, 2016 — The U.S.-led coalition can strike Islamic State
of Iraq and the Levant capabilities any time and anywhere while very
deliberately cutting impact on civilians, the commander of
U.S. Air Forces Central
Command said today.
Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., who also serves as the
Combined Forces Air Component commander for Centcom, told Pentagon reporters via
teleconference from Iraq that
coalition airstrikes are effectively targeting critical terrorist
capabilities as the 19-nation air power coalition continually has successes.
“There is no doubt the coalition air power has and continues
to dramatically dismantle [ISIL’s] ability to fight and conduct operations in
Iraq and Syria,” the commander said, noting that airstrikes on ISIL financial
resources such as banks and oil facilities have set back the extremist
organization’s ability to pay for its operations and fighters.
Recent strikes targeting ISIL logistics and
command-and-control targets in Iraq and Syria have been critical to operations
that support ground forces, he added.
Video Clips Demonstrate Air Power
Brown showed reporters recent video clips of strikes on Raqqa
in Syria and Rutbah in Iraq’s Anbar province to show capabilities used daily.
The first showed airstrikes by newly redesigned B-52 bombers on Raqqah,
destroying an ISIL weapons cache with high-precision guided munitions to degrade
enemy logistics capability, he said.
A U.S. Air Force KC-135 refuels a French air force Mirage
2000D over Iraq, April 8, 2016. A U.S. F-16 and French Mirage 2000 were tasked
recently to dynamically destroy an Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
defensive fighting position using three precision-guided munitions, Air Force Lt.
Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr., commander of U.S. Air Forces Central Command, told
Pentagon reporters May 26, 2016.
The second clip demonstrated U.S. F-16 and French Mirage 2000
strikes that were tasked to dynamically destroy ISIL's defensive fighting
position using three precision-guided munitions to destroy the target. It was
conducted to disrupt ISIL’s defenses as Iraq forces moved in to retake Rutbah,
Continuing those types of airstrikes adds pressure on ISIL
and cuts its ability to use homemade bombs and mount offensive attacks, the
“As the air component, we are … working to keep [ISIL] on the
defense … and enable ground forces to maneuver against as little resistance as
possible,” he said.
More Work to Be Done
But despite consistent progress, now is not the time for the
coalition to pat itself on the back, the general emphasized. “There is still
work to be done,” he said.
Coalition air power will continue forging ahead to do its
part to “persistently strike targets in the deep fight … and continue to
integrate coalition air power with ground force maneuvers, Brown said.
“Regardless of the base of operations on the ground, we will use coalition air
power, its operational reach and flexibility and precision and lethality … to
pressure, to destroy and eventually defeat [ISIL].”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)
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Air Force Lt. Gen. Charles Q. Brown Jr.
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