Small Wars Journal

After Mosul, Airstrikes Against ISIS Ebb Slightly But Remain High

Fri, 08/11/2017 - 6:30am

After Mosul, Airstrikes Against ISIS Ebb Slightly But Remain High by Stephen Losey - Military Times

The number of weapons released against the Islamic State in July dropped slightly from the previous month’s all-time record as the battle for Mosul, Iraq, drew to a close.

But the 4,313 weapons released by coalition aircraft in July was still the third-highest monthly total since the war against ISIS began, according to statistics posted online this week by U.S. Air Forces Central Command.

The greatest number of weapons released as part of Operation Inherent Resolve came in June, when coalition aircraft dropped 4,848 bombs as the Mosul battle reached its final stage.

The last pockets of ISIS fighters there were cleared out in the first few days of July, and Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi officially declared victory in the city July 10.

In the unclassified summary accompanying the statistics, AFCENT said that as the Mosul operations drew to a close, the coalition refocused its airpower efforts on the offensive to drive ISIS out of Raqqa, Syria.

On July 3, AFCENT said, coalition planes breached Raqqa’s ancient wall to allow Syrian Democratic Forces to enter the city. AFCENT said the planes used ”well-planned, precision aistrikes to ... minimiz[e] damage to the historic structure.”

And as ground forces accelerated their drive to take back Raqqa between July 7 and 13, AFCENT said the coalition released 1,200 weapons that week — the highest weekly amount of the war so far.

By the end of the month, AFCENT said the Syrian Democratic Forces controlled about 45 percent of Raqqa…

Read on.