Defense Department News

Officials Provide Details of Latest Counter-ISIS Strikes

May 21, 2017

U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting 23 strikes consisting of 74 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted 16 strikes consisting of 29 engagements against ISIS targets:

-- Near Abu Kamal, seven strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed six ISIS oil tanker trucks, five ISIS wellheads, three ISIS oil tanks, an ISIS oil storage tank and a fighting position.

-- Near Hawl, a strike destroyed seven fighting positions and a mortar site.

-- Near Dayr Az Zawr, three strikes destroyed three ISIS oil tanker trucks and two ISIS wellheads.

-- Near Raqqa, five strikes engaged three ISIS tactical units and destroyed six fighting positions, two vehicles, an ISIS staging area and a construction vehicle.

Officials also reported today that two May 19 strikes near Raqqa destroyed three fighting positions and a vehicle and damaged an ISIS supply route.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted seven strikes consisting of 45 engagements against ISIS targets:

-- Near Mosul, five strikes engaged five ISIS tactical units; destroyed 12 fighting positions, eight medium machine guns, four rocket-propelled-grenade systems, an ISIS fuel truck, a vehicle, an ISIS trailer, an ISIS staging area and an artillery system; and damaged 18 ISIS supply routes and a fighting position.

-- Near Sinjar, two strikes engaged two ISIS tactical units and destroyed two vehicles.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said. 

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect. For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.