The War on ISIL

Discussion in 'The Middle East & North Africa' started by Pathfinder, Jan 10, 2016.

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  1. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    RPA crashes in central Iraq


    An Air Force MQ-1 Predator crashed in central Iraq at approximately 12:50 p.m. local time Jan 7.

    The remotely piloted aircraft was flying a combat mission when positive control of the aircraft was lost. The RPA crash was not due to enemy fire. There are no reports of civilian injuries or damage to civilian property at the crash site.

    The Predator was destroyed and is not in enemy hands.

    An investigation board will convene to determine the specific cause of the crash.

    http://www.af.mil/News/ArticleDisplay/tabid/223/Article/642064/rpa-crashes-in-central-iraq.aspx
     
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  2. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Coalition Continues Strikes Against ISIL in Syria, Iraq


    SOUTHWEST ASIA, January 10, 2016 — U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

    Officials reported details of the latest strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

    Strikes in Syria

    Fighter, attack, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Syria:

    -- Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed an ISIL crane.

    -- Near Raqqah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units.

    -- Near Ayn Isa, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed four ISIL buildings.

    -- Near Dayr Az Zawr, a strike destroyed 16 ISIL skid mounted gas and oil separation plants.

    -- Near Manbij, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL bunker, and wounded an ISIL fighter.

    -- Near Mar'a, two strikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions and damaged an ISIL building.

    -- Near Washiyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL excavator.

    Strikes in Iraq

    Coalition forces used rocket artillery, fighter, bomber, and remotely piloted aircraft to conduct 15 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of the Iraqi government:

    -- Near Albu Hayat, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit, wounded an ISIL fighter, and destroyed an ISIL weapons cache and an ISIL building.

    -- Near Habbaniyah, a strike destroyed an ISIL fighting position and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Haditha, a strike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

    -- Near Kisik, two strikes destroyed five ISIL assembly areas and denied ISIL access to terrain.

    -- Near Mosul, two strikes struck an ISIL headquarters building and destroyed an ISIL excavator.

    -- Near Qayyarah, a strike destroyed two ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL weapons caches, and two ISIL assembly areas.

    -- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units, wounded three ISIL fighters, denied ISIL access to terrain, and destroyed three ISIL fighting positions, two ISIL heavy machine guns, an ISIL tactical vehicle, an ISIL training facility, an ISIL vehicle bomb and an ISIL recoilless rifle.

    -- Near Tal Afar, a strike struck an ISIL-used bridge.

    Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is a strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do 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.

    Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

    The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

    Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Iraq include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom and the United States. Coalition nations that have conducted strikes in Syria include Australia, Bahrain, Canada, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom and the United States.

    http://www.defense.gov/News-Article...-continues-strikes-against-isil-in-syria-iraq
     
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  3. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    Dunford: Recommendations Forthcoming on U.S. Troop Presence in Northern Iraq

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    PARIS, January 24, 2016 — The United States potentially will make recommendations to position U.S. troops with Iraqi security forces in northern Iraq to support the next phase of isolating the key city of Mosul, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff said.

    Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr., who met here with his French counterpart for talks focusing on the multinational effort against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, told reporters traveling with him that the U.S. troops would be placed where they can best support the Iraqi forces in the fight.

    "We're about winning. ... We want to have the Iraqis win," he said.

    The details are still being worked out, noted Dunford, who said he will make the recommendations to President Barack Obama based on what U.S. commanders and Iraqi security forces identify as the type of support the United States can provide in a plan to retake Mosul.

    "It is fair to say we will have positions – we already do [in Erbil] – up in the north that will facilitate supporting Iraqi security forces as they isolate Mosul," Dunford said.


    Mosul is the largest city captured by the ISIL terrorists.

    Consultations on Best Way Forward

    Discussions with Iraqi officials will determine what support they need, whether in an advise-and-assist role at the operations center level, the division level, or the brigade level, Dunford said.

    "I'm prepared to recommend a level of accompaniment that will allow us to be successful," he said. "But I want to wait for the Iraqis to tell us, based on the lessons learned in Ramadi, what they believe is right for them."

    Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, is working with the Iraqi security forces to develop the concept of operations, Dunford said.

    The Iraqis will identify what support they need and what Iraq’s Kurdish peshmerga forces need, looking at capability gaps and where the United States can be most effective in integrating its effort, he said.


    Because the details are still being worked out, Dunford said, he did not have specifics on what capabilities will be needed or how many U.S. troops would be required.

    But, he said, "We're going to set ourselves up for success."

    The U.S. forces, he said, would be in addition to U.S. troops already in an advise-and-assist mission at Taqaddum Air Base.

    Dunford said he discussed the topic with Iraqi officials earlier this month during a visit to Iraq.

    Work Remains in Anbar Province

    In the meantime, the chairman said, the focus is consolidating in and around Ramadi, and then moving out to Anbar province. "There is a lot of work that remains to be done in Anbar, not only in and around Ramadi and the immediate surrounds, but the entire Anbar province," he said.

    The U.S. presence may change "in terms of what our weight of effort is," he said, adding the United States likely will "be in and around those locations for some time to come, because there is still work to be done."

    The United States will still support the Iraqi security forces, with no immediate changes there, with "the exception of probably a reorientation of main effort," he said.

    http://www.defense.gov/News-Article...hcoming-on-us-troop-presence-in-northern-iraq
     
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  4. Technofox

    Technofox That Norwegian girl Staff Member Ret. Military Developer

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    Gotta B-ONE to pick with you- A look into B-1B's deployment against ISIL

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    The Sniper targeting pod-equipped B-1B Lancer has been an incredibly effective weapon system when it comes to dropping ordnance on ISIS fighters and their interests in Iraq and Syria. Now, after a record-setting deployment, the “Bones” have left the Middle East, at least for now.

    The video below is an outstanding look inside the forward deployed B-1 community’s world and their contribution to the fight against ISIS.

    *Is a mustache a USAF requirement? It should be.


    The most recent B-1 rotation to Al Udeid Air Base in Qatar saw crews from Ellsworth Air Force Base in South Dakota flying missions against ISIS from July of 2015 to early January 2016.

    Captain Abraham “Abe” Smith, of 379 Expeditionary Aircraft Maintenance Squadron that supports the B-1s when deployed to the region, made the significance of the departure clear in a Defense Department news item:

    This rotation has supported a total of 490 sorties and enabled 4,850 bombs to be dropped in six months. When the B-1 leaves this will be the first time since 2001 we won’t have B-1s in the area of responsibility. Our mission has been to provide safe and reliable combat aircraft to the bomb squadron. We’ve supported more bombs dropped in one month than any other B-1 unit.

    [​IMG]

    During their most recent deployment, B-1 crews dropped double the bombs in a single month (2,224 weapons dropped) than any past unit had done.

    Smith describes what it took to keep the notoriously maintenance heavy B-1s in the fight:

    Hundreds of thousands of manpower hours have been put into the past six months to keep these aircraft running and it’s been a very challenging and an exhausting deployment; however, we’ve found ways to make it enjoyable.

    The B-1's return to the United States will allow them to receive much needed upgrades and heavy maintenance. The B-1 fleet is currently undergoing a substantial avionics improvement program, which includes a glass cockpit that will fuse navigational and tactical systems together, as well as an enhanced diagnostic system and Link 16 data-link connectivity that will vastly enhance crew’s situational awareness and ease communication woes.

    [​IMG]

    This upgrade has been a long-awaited for the B-1 community that has been getting by largely on avionics developed in the 1970s as well as retrofitted “plug and play” non-integrated systems, such as those that control the Sniper targeting pod.

    Now that the Bone has finally found a niche in the USAF’s inventory, other upgrades may be on the way in the future, including a active electronically scanned array radar. The idea is that the B-1 could not just work as an attack aircraft but also as a giant sensor node over the battlefields of the future.

    [​IMG]

    As for what will take the B-1’s place in the middle east, that remains unclear. The B-52H also has targeting pod and precision strike capabilities like the B-1, as well as a new smart bomb rack to load its internal bays with precision munitions.

    Captain Smith underlines that the B-1 “gap” in the middle east will be felt:

    It will be well missed. There is nothing that can do the mission that the B-1 does and it’s an amazing aircraft that flies at supersonic speed to go drop bombs and come back home. To be able to have that sort of mission, it is unique and this has been an awesome experience to be out here and be a part of it.

    It is also unclear if there will be any U.S. heavy bomber presence in the CENTCOM area of responsibility in the coming months.

    ...

    Since it relates more to operations against ISIL then it does general USAF usage, I put it here.
     
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  5. Pathfinder

    Pathfinder Lieutenant Colonel

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    37 killed in U.S. airstrike targeting terrorists in Libya, mayor says

    (CNN)American warplanes hit an ISIS camp Friday in Libya where foreign fighters had been engaged in special, advanced training -- possibly, a U.S. official said, ahead of a terror attack in Europe or somewhere else outside the North African nation.

    Noureddine Chouchane, a senior operative in the terrorist group from Tunisia, was believed to be among those from around Africa and the Middle East who had converged on the site. He is thought to have played an instrumental role in two terror attacks in Tunisia last year, one at Tunis' Bardo Museum that killed 23 people and another at a seaside resort in Sousse that left 38 dead. ISIS claimed responsibility for both massacres.

    http://www.cnn.com/2016/02/19/africa/libya-us-airstrike-isis/index.html

    Following the news, Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook issued the statement identifying Chouchane as "an ISIL senior facilitator in Libya associated with the training camp."

    "Destruction of the camp and Chouchane's removal will eliminate an experienced facilitator and is expected to have an immediate impact on ISIL's ability to facilitate its activities in Libya, including recruiting new ISIL members, establishing bases in Libya, and potentially planning external attacks on US interests in the region," Cook added.

    http://www.aljazeera.com/news/2016/02/deaths-reported-raids-isil-camp-libya-160219131122223.html
     
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