In the period between December 30th and January 13th, the US-led coalition carried out 575 strikes consisting of 1,147 engagements in Syria and conducted 13 strikes consisting of 19 engagements in Iraq.
“In Syria, 575 strikes engaged 485 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 308 staging areas, 220 fighting positions, 105 mortar, rocket and artillery systems, 57 supply routes, 50 manufacturing facilities for improvised explosive device and vehicle borne improvised explosive device, 31 command and control nodes, 26 vehicles, 19 weapons caches, 18 mortar launching sites, 18 petroleum oil and lubricant storage facilities, 11 heavy and light weapon systems, eight reservoirs and tankers for petroleum oil and lubricants, eight pieces of heavy equipment, seven vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, six tunnels and caves, four buildings, two unmanned aircraft systems, one weapons facility, one logistics hub and one fuel storage.
In Iraq, 13 strikes engaged 11 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 10 staging areas, five buildings, three tunnels and caves, one fighting position, one vehicle and one logistics site,” the report reads.
An additional 373 strikes were detected from other actors that crossed the Euphrates River Valley.
Between January 13th and 26th, the US-led coalition carried out 645 strikes consisting of 1,360 engagements in Syria and conducted nine strikes consisting of 12 engagements in Iraq.
“In Syria, 645 strikes engaged 394 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 244 fighting positions, 172 supply routes, 85 staging areas, 21 vehicles, 17 buildings, 15 vehicle borne improvised explosive devices, 14 mortar launching sites, 13 manufacturing facilities for improvised explosive devices, 12 command and control nodes, nine tunnels, eight weapons caches, seven pieces of engineering equipment, five launching sites for unmanned aircraft systems, two weapons storage facilities, two mortar tubes, two improvised explosive devices, one unmanned aircraft system, one machine gun, one logistic node and one check point.
In Iraq, 9 strikes engaged 5 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 4 caves, 1 manufacturing facility for improvised explosive devices, 1 building and one vehicle,” the report claimed.
An additional 533 strikes from “other actors” that crossed the Euphrates River Valley were detected, according to the coalition’s reports.
Both reports also claimed that coalition is completely committed to avoiding, or “in every case minimizing civilian casualties,” despite continuous reports by local Syrian news outlets and even the ISIS networks that civilians keep being killed in US-led airstrikes.
Furthermore, the coalition does not provide the number or type of aircraft that took part in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.
“A strike, as defined in the Coalition release, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect in that location.”
This activity of approximately 1,200 airstrikes over the duration of a month, follows Donald Trump’s announcement on December 19th that ISIS was defeated.
It was further reinforced that ISIS continues to be a significant threat after the testimony by the US Intelligence Chiefs in front of Congress.
On January 29th, acting US Defense Secretary Patrick M. Shanahan had his first meeting with reporters, following his assumption of office on January 1st.
Regarding Syria, he said that the withdrawal is in the early stages. “We’re on a deliberate, coordinated, disciplined withdrawal,” Shanahan claimed.
He also said that ISIS is no longer capable of governing in Syria.
“ISIS no longer has freedom to amass forces. Syria is no longer a safe haven. We’ve eliminated a majority of their leadership. We’ve significantly diminished their financial capabilities,” Shanahan said. “The way I would probably characterize the military operations conducted in Syria is that the risk of terrorism and mass migration has been significantly mitigated.”
Inside Syria, he said, “99.5 percent plus” of territory controlled by ISIS just two years ago has been returned to the Syrians. “And within a couple of weeks, it’ll be 100 percent,” he added.