US-Backed Coalition Has Dropped 54,611 Bombs In 15,362 Airstrikes In The War On ISIS
Despite the loss of Fallujah, which was declared “liberated” from the terrorists in June, Daesh maintains a strong presence in Syria and Iraq, and continues to take credit for terrorist attacks abroad.
Mosul, currently under heavy bombardment by the coalition, is forecast to be the next target for Iraqi forces. In a Sept. 17 report from Politico, retired U.S. Army Col. Daniel L. Davis quoted a Kurdish commander who estimated there are still some 20,000 Daesh troops in and around Mosul, suggesting that even a victory in Mosul could be short-lived. Military experts Davis interviewed speculated that retaking the city from Daesh could trigger a new Iraqi civil war similar to the current conflict in Syria.
The air war began over two years ago under President Barack Obama, but both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump have indicated that they intend to intensify the conflict against Daesh.
During Monday’s presidential debate Clinton said:
“We’re working with NATO, the longest military alliance in the history of the world, to really turn our attention to terrorism. We’re working with our friends in the Middle East, many of which, as you know, are Muslim-majority nations.”
In his response, Trump noted:
“I think we have to get NATO to go into the Middle East with us, in addition to surrounding nations, and we have to knock the hell out of ISIS, and we have to do it fast, when ISIS formed in this vacuum created by Barack Obama and Secretary Clinton.”
Responding to the candidates on Tuesday, Robert Fisk, an award-winning journalist who covers the Middle East for the Independent, expressed frustration at both candidates’ eagerness to continue the same, failing strategies. He wrote:
“[H]aven’t we all been knocking the hell out of Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Syria, even Lebanon (a few years ago), and achieving the constant rebirth of ever more vicious warriors, of which Isis – heaven spare us the thought – may soon generate another, even worse progeny?”
Fisk, who is based in Beirut, also noted that Washington’s so-called “friends” in the Middle East include “[t]hose fantastic Saudis who gave us 15 of the 9/11 hijackers,” and suggested it will be America’s fault when the air war on Daesh inevitably creates more terrorism through blowback.
“About the only nonsense left unuttered by Trump and Clinton was that Isis was born outside the United States. There they would have been on safe ground. Or would they? For I suspect there may be a growing number of Arabs who believe that Isis is indeed a child born in America.”