Small Wars Journal

Combined Strikes Against ISIS Up Nearly 150 Percent. Here’s Why.

Combined Strikes Against ISIS Up Nearly 150 Percent. Here’s Why. By Kyle Rempfer – Military Times

The Operation Inherent Resolve mission to defeat the Islamic State has picked up the tempo this month.

On May 1, the U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, resumed major offensive operations in the middle Euphrates River valley, where ISIS holdouts are known to remain.

“Since then, the SDF has continued to gain ground through offensive operations, coupled with precision coalition strike support,” Inherent Resolve officials said in a statement Friday morning.

In May alone, the U.S.-led coalition has conducted 184 strikes. This represents a 149 percent increase over the 74 strikes conducted in March and surpassed Inherent Resolve’s total of 183 strikes in the entire month of April 2018, according to the statement.

A strike, as defined in the Inherent Resolve statement, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect in that location.

Operations against ISIS forces were put on pause in March, when some elements within the SDF, which itself is a mix of Kurdish and Arab groups, moved north to defend Kurdish enclaves in Syria’s Afrin region from a Turkish offensive.

Currently, ISIS holdouts are focused in isolated pockets along the middle Euphrates River valley, according to a Pentagon briefing in April…

Read on.