40 killed in U.S. air strikes in Iraq, Syria
At least 40 people were killed in U.S. air strikes in Iraq and Syria on Sunday, the Pentagon said.
The strikes targeted suspected Islamic State militants in the two countries. In Iraq, the strikes hit a training camp and a weapons storage facility near Mosul, the country’s second-largest city. In Syria, the strikes hit a militant training camp near Aleppo.
The Pentagon said the strikes were carried out in coordination with the Iraqi and Syrian governments.
U.S. officials: Strikes were ‘precise’
A U.S. military official told CNN that the strikes were “precise” and that there were no reports of civilian casualties.
“We took all precautions to avoid civilian casualties,” the official said.
Iraqi officials: Strikes ‘will not deter’ ISIS
Iraqi officials said the strikes will not deter ISIS.
“These strikes will not deter the determination of our people to fight Daesh [ISIS],” said Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi.
“We will continue our operations against Daesh until we liberate every inch of Iraq,” Abadi said.
Syrian officials: Strikes ‘will not affect’ fight against Assad
Syrian officials said the strikes will not affect the fight against Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“The strikes will not affect the determination of our people to fight the regime,” said Syrian Foreign Minister Walid al-Moualem.
“We will continue our struggle until we topple the regime,” Moualem said.
Analysts: Strikes could be sign of new U.S. strategy
The strikes could be a sign of a new U.S. strategy in the fight against ISIS, analysts said.
“The strikes could indicate that the U.S. is shifting to a more aggressive approach against ISIS,” said Anthony Cordesman, a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and International Studies.
“The strikes could also be a way for the U.S. to pressure Iraq and Syria to cooperate more closely with the U.S.-led coalition against ISIS,” Cordesman said.
It is unclear what will happen next in the fight against ISIS.
The U.S. and its allies could continue to carry out air strikes, or they could send ground troops into Iraq and Syria.
It is also possible that the conflict could escalate, with ISIS retaliating against the U.S. and its allies.
Only time will tell what the future holds for the fight against ISIS.