“Rooted out, hunted down and destroyed.” This is how President Obama described his plans for ISIS during his final State of the Union address. More importantly, he stressed that a group like ISIS is not capable of starting World War III.
The President also called upon everyone to stop calling the Islamist state as what it isn’t: a “representative of the one of the world’s largest religions.” To President Obama, they are simply killers and fanatics, a group of fighters waging war in pickup trucks, apartments or garages.
Nonetheless, President Obama said that the country and its coalition allies of over 60 countries are hitting ISIS hard as best they can. They have launched almost 10,000 air strikes against the Islamic state. They have taken out their leadership, oil, weapons, finances and training camps. They have stopped them from recruiting, too. They have trained and armed forces in Iraq and Syria determined to reclaim their land.
Just recently, the Pentagon has reported that the U.S. and coalition forces have finished launching another series of strikes in various ISIS strongholds. A total of eight strikes in Syria led to the destruction of several ISIS tactical units as well as vehicles, an excavator, a heavy machine gun and an oil booster pump generator. An ISIS fighter was also reportedly injured during the strike.
Meanwhile, in Iraq, 16 strikes were also conducted. Seven of the said strikes took place near Mosul and hit an ISIS headquarters building, a security headquarters building, a command-and-control node, a weapons storage facility as well as some tactical units and fighting positions. At the same time, four strikes conducted near Kisik also hit an ISIS supply cache as well as bunkers, assembly areas and fighting positions. A tunnel used by ISIS and one of its tactical units were also hit.
During a speech in Fort Campbell, Kentucky, Defense Secretary Ash Carter emphasized the U.S. and coalition forces’ goal of “delivering a lasting defeat” to ISIS. He also said that ISIS and other insurgency groups tend to change focus and shift locations. Recently, these groups reportedly made their way to North Africa, Yemen and Afghanistan.