A coalition led by the United States conducted 20 air strikes against Islamic State in Iraq and three against the militant group in Syria on Saturday, according to a statement released by the Combined Joint Task Force on Sunday.
The militants seized Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province, in May perhaps, extending its handle more than the Euphrates valley west of Baghdad and handing the Iraqi army its worst defeat given that June 2014 when Islamic State swept through northern Iraq. The news comes amid US concerns about Russia’s recent military buildup in Syria and would appear to confirm American suspicions of some kind of cooperation between Baghdad and Moscow. “They have pushed terrorists (back)… and forced them to go back up north towards Mosul”, said Jaafari, who is in New York to attend the United Nations General Assembly. “We continue to encourage ISF (Iraqi security forces) leaders to move as quickly as possible to prevent giving ISIL time and space to regroup and resupply”, Ryder said, using an acronym for Islamic State.
“The frequency of the air force campaign fluctuates and I hope it will get higher frequency in the future”, Jaafari said.
Ryder stated the USA military believes the Iraqis have adequate troops near Ramadi to move forward.
“We need equipment, training and intelligence, but not ground troops or bases from this or that country“, he said. Western states assume it is increasing its military presence to help its embattled ally, Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, tackle IS offensives.