The U.S. led anti-Islamic State coalition bombed the terrorist group back to the stone ages, 25 times on July 3, Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) said in a statement Tuesday.
The 25 strikes consisted of “85 engagements” against the terrorist group ISIS and spanned Iraq and Syria. The strikes come amid two large scale U.S. backed pushes in both countries.
The U.S. is currently in the last phase of supporting the Iraqi Security Force’s military campaign to retake the formerly ISIS held city of Mosul. ISIS controlled the city uncontested for nearly two years and has put up a brutal defense since U.S. backed operations began in October 2016. The group routinely uses civilian human shields and child suicide bombers.
ISIS is currently constrained to two separate enclaves within Mosul, OIR spokesman Army Col. Ryan Dillon told reporters Thursday. The enclaves are separated from each other by the Iraqi Security Forces and are currently under assault. The Iraqi Security Forces will “imminently” announce the city’s liberation, Dillon said.
OIR is also supporting the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) in the push against ISIS’s capital of Raqqa. The SDF are a coalition of largely Kurdish forces on the ground in Syria who focus on fighting the terrorist group. The SDF breached the city of Raqqa for the first time Monday by “opening two small gaps in the Rafiqah Wall that surrounds the Old City,” OIR announced Tuesday.
“ISIS fighters were using the historic wall as a fighting position and planted mines and improvised explosive devices at several of the breaks in the wall. SDF fighters would have been channeled through these locations and were extremely vulnerable as they were targeted with vehicle-borne IEDs and indirect fire as well as direct fire from heavy machine guns, rocket-propelled grenades and snipers as they tried to breach the Old City,” OIR continued.