The US is a major world power. It’s clear that pivots of the US foreign policy impact developments across the world. Thus, it’s important to know what the US is doing and going to do. SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence team is continuing to provide exclusive reviews of the US official attitude over crucial world events and developments.
Written by Costas Ioannou exclusively for SouthFront: Analysis & Intelligence
On January 11, Defence Secretary Ash Carter reaffirmed the closeness of the strategic relationship between the United States and Jordan during a meeting with King Abdullah II at the Pentagon.
In a statement summarizing the meeting, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said Carter and the Jordanian monarch discussed mutual concerns in the region, including the ongoing crisis in Syria, and that the secretary expressed gratitude for Jordan’s continued contributions to regional efforts to counter Islamic State of Iraq.
“They had a good exchange and agreed to continue the close partnership between the United States and Jordan,” Cook stated
On January 12, the U.S. and coalition military forces have attacked Islamic State of Iraq. Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported details of the latest strikes.
Strikes in Syria
Attack and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 4 strikes in Syria:
- Near Ayn Isa, one strike wounded an ISIL fighter.
- Near Dayr Az Zawr, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and wounded an ISIL fighter.
- Near Manbij, two strikes destroyed two ISIL buildings.
Strikes in Iraq
Fighter and bomber aircraft conducted 19 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
- Near Baghdadi, one strike cratered three ISIL-used roads.
- Near Habbaniyah, one strike destroyed an ISIL bridge and denied ISIL access to terrain.
- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and an ISIL cash distribution center and destroyed two ISIL command-and-control nodes, an ISIL tactical vehicle, and 20 ISIL fighting positions.
- Near Qayyarah, one strike destroyed an ISIL command-and-control node and destroyed six ISIL staging areas.
- Near Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle.
- Near Kisik, three strikes struck three separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL light machine gun, two ISIL fighting positions, an ISIL vehicle, and an ISIL assembly area.
- Near Ramadi, two strikes destroyed an ISIL vehicle bomb, two ISIL front end loaders, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
- Near Sultan Abdallah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL fighting position.
- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed an ISIL-used bridge.
On January 13, Assistant Secretary for European and Eurasian Affairs Victoria Nuland travelled to Trakai, Lithuania where she met with senior Lithuanian government officials and attended the annual Snow Meeting on Euro-Atlantic security issues, which brings together key members of the transatlantic foreign policy community.
After her visit to Lithuania, she travelled to Bucharest, Romania and met with senior Romanian government officials to discuss bilateral and regional issues, including security and economic cooperation and government reform efforts.
In Sofia, Bulgaria, Assistant Secretary Nuland met with senior Bulgarian government officials to discuss a range of bilateral and regional issues, including energy security and diversification efforts, defence modernization and cooperation, as well as government reform efforts.
On January 14, Deputy Defence Secretary Bob Work met with senior Israeli officials during a three-day visit that ended today “to reaffirm the United States’ steadfast commitment to Israel’s security”.
In a statement summarizing the visit, Navy Lt. Cmdr. Courtney Hillson said that Bob Work visited Tel Aviv and Jerusalem to meet with Israeli President Reuven Rivlin, Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon and the director-general of the Israeli Defence Ministry, Dan Harel.
“Their discussions focused on shared national security interests, regional security trends and ways to further strengthen Israel’s qualitative military edge,” Hillson stated. During the visit, Bob Work observed several demonstrations highlighting ways both countries can use technology to confront threats.
“He also explored ways to continue to deepen cooperation on defence technology and infrastructure. Additionally, the deputy secretary discussed the development of the department’s Third Offset Strategy and advanced capabilities,” Hillson added.
The Third Offset Strategy focuses on increasing the competitive advantage of American and allied forces over the coming decades.
In Jerusalem, Bob Work toured the Old City and paid respects at Yad Vashem, the Jewish people’s living memorial to the Holocaust, where he laid a wreath in remembrance. Work will visit the United Kingdom next.
Hillson said that “This trip provides an opportunity to build and strengthen key U.S. relationships”.
On January 15, speaking to local government officials, private sector representatives and military leaders in Honolulu, the commander of U.S. Pacific Command emphasized Hawaii’s importance in the future of the Indo-Asia-Pacific theatre during an annual meeting for the local Military Affairs Council.
Navy Adm. Harry B. Harris recognized the council and state leaders for their support in communicating how joint military forces in Hawaii support the U.S interests in the Pacific.
Harris said there is no doubt that the United States economic future is firmly tied to the Indo-Asia-Pacific.
Harris sighted an example of strengthening security ties between the Philippines and the United States through an enhanced defence cooperation agreement.
“The agreement will facilitate the enhanced rotational presence of the U.S. military in the region, and support the long-term modernization of the armed forces of the Philippines,” Harris stated.
On January 16, The U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq.
Strikes in Syria
Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 11 strikes in Syria:
- Near Abu Kamal, one strike struck an ISIL-used bridge.
- Near Al Hasakah, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.
- Near Ar Raqqah, one strike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL vehicle and wounded an ISIL fighter.
- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles, an ISIL bed down location, and wounded an ISIL fighter.
- Near Mar’a, five strikes struck five separate ISIL tactical units and wounded an ISIL fighter.
Strikes in Iraq
Rocket artillery and attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 18 strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:
- Near Al Huwayjah, one strike struck an ISIL headquarters.
- Near Albu Hayat, one strike destroyed an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb.
- Near Kisik, one strike denied ISIL access to terrain.
- Near Mosul, eight strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL vehicle, two ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL-used culverts, 12 ISIL assembly areas, five ISIL command and control nodes, an ISIL bunker, an ISIL weapons cache, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
- Near Ramadi, six strikes struck two separate ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL building, an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb, four ISIL staging areas, cratered two ISIL-used roads, and denied ISIL access to terrain.
- Near Tal Afar, one strike destroyed three ISIL assembly areas and an ISIL vehicle-borne bomb.