Thursday, June 30, 2016

250 Good Jihadis

I added this as an update to this post, but it bears repeating. Our air power uncorked a jumbo can of Whup-Ass on ISIL, which made the classic mistake of massing under the unblinking stare of our Air Force surveillance and strike capability.

This is working the problem:

U.S.-led coalition aircraft waged a series of deadly strikes against Islamic State around the city of Falluja on Wednesday, U.S. officials told Reuters, with one official citing a preliminary estimate of at least 250 fighters killed and at least 40 vehicles destroyed.

Holy cow! That's gonna leave a mark. Maybe Fallujah isn't a perfect victory as so many worry, but it is pretty darned good.

That simply has to be 250 jihadis fleeing in 40 vehicles. And then pounded by Coalition airpower.

Unless 250 jihadis took a knee around an ISIL leader to get a pep talk at a really bad time.

UPDATE: A quick update as I see new information:

Iraq's Defense Ministry has released footage showing airstrikes on dozens of vehicles described as a convoy of Islamic State fighters fleeing the western city of Fallujah following its recapture by the Iraqi military.

Scores of militants are thought to have been killed in the airstrikes, which authorities lauded as an operation carried out exclusively by the Iraqi military.

"More than 20 helicopters took part in the mission and were able to destroy more than 138 vehicles," Iraqi army commander Lt. Gen. Hamid al-Maliki said.

Al-Maliki, who is speaking in the footage released by the Defense Ministry late Wednesday night, said Iraqi helicopters carried out all of the strikes. "No other force took part in the operation," he said.

The U.S.-led coalition said Thursday that they also conducted airstrikes on "two large concentrations of Daesh vehicles and fighters," according to spokesman Col. Christopher Garver. Daesh is an Arabic name for the Islamic State group.

Not only did we smash up a convoy, the Iraqis did, too.

This has to be bad for ISIL morale. They can't seem to hold cities lately; and if they try to run, they can be killed more easily from the air.

It has been more than half a year since I've seen evidence that ISIL is really capable of fighting tooth and nail for Mosul. I suspect fear of killing civilians and the need to clear IEDs will slow down the liberation of the city more than ISIL defenders.