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American Forces Press Service

Strikes Target ISIL Terrorists in Syria, Iraq

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, Dec. 29, 2016 – U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, 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

Attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted eight strikes in Syria:

-- Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed an oil wellhead.

-- Near Raqqa, six strikes engaged five ISIL tactical units, destroying a fighting position, a heavy machine gun, a mortar system and a vehicle. A bridge was disabled.

-- Near Palmyra, a strike destroyed an ISIL-held tank.

Task force officials also announced today that Abu Jandal al-Kuwaiti, an ISIL gang leader in Raqqa, was killed by a Dec. 26 coalition airstrike near Syria's Tabqa Dam. He was a previous member of the ISIL's war committee, officials said, and was involved in their retaking of Palmyra, Syria, before being reassigned to Tabqa to try to improve ISIL's defenses against the Syrian Democratic Forces.

He was involved in the use of suicide vehicles, improvised explosive devices and chemical weapons against the SDF, officials added. Because of his associations with ISIL terror attack planners and war council members, they added, his death will degrade ISIL's ability to defend Raqqa and launch external operations against the West.

Strikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft, as well as rocket artillery, conducted three strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq's government:

-- Near Mosul, three strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit, destroying seven front-end loaders, four command-and-control nodes, two land bridges, a vehicle-bomb factory, a vehicle and a steamroller. Twenty-four supply routes were damaged.

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 one 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. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

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

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