One Year since the outset of the US bombing campaign “against ISIS” in Syria and Iraq. August 8, 2014 marked the onset of the bombing campaign.
This article was first published in February 2015.
UPDATE (August 22, 2015)
According to figures released by U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM), “the U.S. and its coalition partners have struck 10,684 targets including 3,262 [so-called] ISIS buildings, 119 commandeered tanks, 1,202 vehicles and 2,577 fighting positions.” The term “ISIS buildings” is a fake concept. Those buildings (including residential areas) are part of the civilian infrastructure of Iraq and Syria. The number of targets struck suggests an intense carpet bombing campaign geared towards the destruction of both Iraq and Syria.
Official figures confirm that over a period of one year (August 8, 2014 to July 31, 2015) approximately “20,000 airstrikes — close air support, escort, and interdiction — have been launched; about 5,200 of those involved the release of at least one weapon.” The cost of Operation Enduring Freedom, which has resulted in countless civilian deaths is officially of the order of 3.5 billion dollars. The overall budget of the DoD is of the order of 650 billion dollars.
Meanwhile, the ISIS which is construct of US intelligence, trained and financed by the US and its allies (including Saudi Arabia, Turkey) has not been defeated. On the contrary it has extended its grip throughout the Middle East.
The bombing raids in Syria, Iraq and more recently Yemen have not been the object of protests by the anti-war movement, nor has been considered a criminal undertaking under international law . The bombing raids have been portrayed by the media as part of a counterterrorism operation. The “Global War on Terrorism” has been accepted as a humanitarian undertaking.
* * *
Since August 2014, the US Air Force with the support of a coalition of 19 countries has relentlessly waged an intensified air campaign against Syria and Iraq allegedly targeting the Islamic State brigades.
According to Defense News, over 16,000 airstrikes were carried out from August 2014 to mid January 2015. Sixty percent of the air strikes were conducted by the US Air Force using advanced jet fighter and bombing capabilities (Aaron Mehta, “A-10 Performing 11 Percent of Anti-ISIS Sorties”. Defense News, January 19, 2015.)
The airstrikes have been casually described by the media as part of a “soft” counter-terrorism operation, rather than an act of all out war directed against Syria and Iraq.
F-16 Fighting Falcon
This large scale air campaign which has resulted in countless civilian casualties has been routinely misreported by the mainstream media. According to Max Boot, senior fellow in national security at the Council on Foreign Relations. “Obama’s strategy in Syria and Iraq is not working… [ because] the U.S. bombing campaign against ISIS has been remarkably restrained”. (Newsweek, February 17, 2015, emphasis added).
Americans are led to believe that the Islamic State constitutes a formidable force confronting the US military and threatening Western Civilization. The thrust of media reporting is that the US Air Force has failed and that “Obama should get his act together” in effectively confronting this “Outside Enemy” of America.
According to CFR Max Boot, military escalation is the answer: what is required is for the president “to dispatch more aircraft, military advisers, and special operations forces, while loosening the restrictions under which they operate.” (Ibid)
What kind of aircraft are involved in the air campaign? The F-16 Fighting Falcon,(above right), The F-15E Strike Eagle (image below) , The A-10 Warthog, not to mention Lockheed Martin’s F-22 Raptor stealth tactical fighter aircraft.
Question for Our Readers
Why has the US Air Force not been able to wipe out the Islamic State which at the outset was largely equipped with conventional small arms not to mention state of the art Toyota pickup trucks?
From the very outset, this air campaign has NOT been directed against ISIS. The evidence confirms that the Islamic State is not the target. Quite the opposite.
The air raids are intended to destroy the economic infrastructure of Iraq and Syria.
The USAF-15E Strike Eagle
We call on our readers to carefully reflect on the following image, which describes the Islamic State convoy of pickup trucks entering Iraq and crossing a 200 km span of open desert which separates the two countries.
This convoy entered Iraq in June 2014.
What would have been required from a military standpoint to wipe out an ISIS convoy with no effective anti-aircraft capabilities?
Without an understanding of military issues, common sense prevails.
If they had wanted to eliminate the Islamic State brigades, they could have “carpet” bombed their convoys of Toyota pickup trucks when they crossed the desert from Syria into Iraq in June.
The answer is pretty obvious, yet not a single mainstream media has acknowledged it.
The Syro-Arabian Desert is open territory (see map right). With state of the art jet fighter aircraft (F15, F22 Raptor, F16) it would have been –from a military standpoint– “a piece of cake”, a rapid and expedient surgical operation, which would have decimated the Islamic State convoys in a matter of hours.
Instead what we have witnessed is an ongoing drawn out six months of relentless air raids and bombings, and the terrorist enemy is apparently still intact.
(In comparison, the NATO bombing raids of Yugoslavia in 1999 lasted about three months (March 24-June 10, 1999).
And we are led to believe that the Islamic State cannot be defeated by a powerful US led military coalition of 19 countries.
The air campaign was not intended to decimate the Islamic State.
The counter-terrorism mandate is a fiction. America is the Number One “State Sponsor of Terrorism”.
The Islamic State is not only protected by the US and its allies, it is trained and financed by US-NATO, with the support of Israel and Washington’s Persian Gulf allies.