US to intensify Syria airstrikes against Daesh: Defence chief

Top Stories

US to intensify Syria airstrikes against Daesh: Defence chief
Carter said to keep up the pressure on Raqqa, the U.S. will support moderate Syrian forces, who have made territorial gains against the Daesh near that city.

Washington - Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter described a changing approach to the fight against the Daesh, focusing largely on Raqqa, the Daesh-declared capital in Syria, and Ramadi.

By AP

  • Follow us on
  • google-news
  • whatsapp
  • telegram

Published: Tue 27 Oct 2015, 5:55 PM

Last updated: Sun 16 Feb 2020, 9:46 PM

Defense Secretary Ash Carter said Tuesday the Obama administration is preparing to accelerate its military campaign against Daesh militants, including launching more and heavier airstrikes in Syria.
Appearing before the Senate Armed Services Committee, Carter described a changing approach to the fight against the Daesh, focusing largely on Raqqa, the Daesh-declared capital in Syria, and Ramadi, the capital of Anbar province in western Iraq.
Carter said the US would intensify the air campaign against the Daesh with additional US and coalition aircraft and heavier airstrikes. His testimony came as Russia is conducting its own airstrikes in Syria, saying it aims to help the Syrian government defeat the Daesh and other terrorists.
The US-led effort "will include more strikes against Daesh high-value targets as our intelligence improves, and also its oil enterprise, which is a critical pillar of Daesh's financial infrastructure," he said.
Carter said to keep up the pressure on Raqqa, the US will support moderate Syrian forces, who have made territorial gains against the Daesh near that city.
"Some of them are within 30 miles (50 kilometers) of Raqqa today," he said.
He said the U.S. also hopes to better equip Arab forces battling the Daesh and to further bolster Jordan, a neighbor of Iraq and Syria which is flying missions as part of the anti-Daesh coalition.
Carter said he was disappointed that the U.S. effort to form new moderate Syrian rebel forces to fight Daesh had failed. He said the new approach is to work with vetted leaders of groups that are already fighting the militants and also give them equipment and training and help support them with U.S. air power.
"If done in concert as we intend, all these actions on the ground and from the air should help shrink Daesh territory into a smaller and smaller area and create new opportunities for targeting Daesh - ultimately denying this evil movement any safe haven in its supposed heartland," Carter said.
The new strategy also includes helping the Iraqi government's effort to assemble Iraqi forces, including Sunni fighters, to fight Daesh militants in Anbar province. Carter said that as the U.S. sees more progress in assembling motivated Iraqi forces, it will be willing to continue providing more equipment and fire support to help them succeed.
"However, the Iraqi government and security forces will have to take certain steps militarily to make sure progress sticks," he said.



More news from