Syrian woman observes strikes by the international coalition on ISIS positions in Kobane city, near the Turkish border. File photo
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HASAKAH – The US-led coalition carried out 50,000 sorties against headquarters of the Islamic State (ISIS) in a year, according to officials. The raids have been conducted during the command of Gen. Sean MacFarland who was replaced last Sunday.
Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, XVIII Airborne Corps Commanding General, assumed command of the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) from Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, III Armored Corps Commanding General, during an Aug. 21 ceremony.
Presiding over the transfer of authority ceremony, was the commanding general for U.S. Central Command, Gen. Joseph L. Votel, who previously visited the Kurdish areas of Syria in a secret visit in May.
“Over the past year, CJTF-OIR, led by my good friend Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland and his III Armored Corps, and our coalition and regional partners, have done incredible work to degrade and dismantle ISIL’s oppressive and brutal regime,” Townsend said. “Their combined efforts on the ground and in the air have accelerated the campaign, pushed Da’esh [ISIS] back all across the battlefield and achieved remarkable momentum towards Da’esh’s ultimate defeat.”
According to the data of the US-led coalition, they have trained more than 13,500 members of the Iraqi security forces, including 4,000 Iraqi Army soldiers, 1,500 counter terrorism service soldiers, 6,000 Kurdish Peshmergas, almost 1,000 Federal police and 300 border guards.
Furthermore, the coalition has carried out 50,000 sorties against ISIS in the past year, in which more than 30,000 munitions were dropped on ISIS positions with approximately two-thirds of those in Iraq and about one-third in Syria.
“These strikes have enabled the liberation of more than 25,000 total square kilometers from Da’esh [ISIS]. That’s nearly half of what the enemy once controlled in Iraq and 20 percent of what they once controlled in Syria,” the coalition said.
Also, the coalition has reportedly carried out 200 strikes against oil and natural gas activities of ISIS, which reduced their oil revenues by 50 per cent.
“Let me say for all to hear, friend and foe alike – we will continue the attack against ISIL [ISIS], and we will defeat them in Iraq and Syria on our watch,” Lt. Gen. Townsend said.