08:06 GMT01 April 2020
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    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)
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    The US-led Coalition against the Islamic State launched 18 airstrikes in Iraq and four airstrikes in Syria within a 24-hour period, US Central Command (CENTCOM) said in a statement on Wednesday.

    WASHINGTON (Sputnik) — “In Syria, Coalition military forces conducted four airstrikes using attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft,” CENTCOM said. “Separately in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted 18 airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense using attack, bomber, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL [Islamic State] terrorists.”

    The airstrikes took out tactical units, fighting positions, infrastructure and weaponry.

    The airstrikes continued against targets in the northeast of Syria, despite recent Islamic State advances northwest of Aleppo that threaten to overrun the strategic town of Azaz and the Bab al-Salameh border crossing to Turkey, key supply points for Syrian rebels.

    Syrian rebel groups — in particular the umbrella Islamist group Army of Conquest — have voiced criticism over the United States unwillingness strike Islamic State positions as the terrorist group advanced in northwest Syria over the past week.

    The Army of Conquest includes Ahrar al-Sham and the al-Qaeda-affiliated al-Nusra Front, and cooperates with more moderate Syrian factions against the Syrian army and the Islamic State.

    The United States needs to forge a new strategy to deal with the Islamic State following the militant group’s recent victories in Iraq, two US experts told Sputnik.
    © AFP 2020 / US NAVY / MC2 JACOB G. SISCO
    Saudi Arabia, Qatar and Turkey are key backers of the Army of Conquest, which in April and May of 2015 made advances in the Idlib province and toward the Alawite homeland of Latakia, a bastion of support for the Syrian regime.

    In Iraq, government continues to struggle after the Islamic State took Ramadi, the capital of the Anbar province. On Tuesday, anti-Islamic State Coalition members and Iraqi officials met in France to discuss strategy to defeat the Islamic State.

    More than 4,000 Coalition airstrikes have so far failed to stem the advances of the Islamic State.

    The Coalition has carried out airstrikes against the Islamic State since August 2014.

    Violence Erupts as Islamic State Rises (1881)


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