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More airstrikes in Syria, Iraq against ISIS

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SOUTHWEST ASIA, Jan. 19, 2018 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria between Jan. 12 and Jan. 18, conducting 63 strikes consisting of 102 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the most recent strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

On Jan. 18 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an indirect fire weapon, a fighting position and an ISIS line of communication.

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On Jan. 17 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of 14 engagements against ISIS targets, destroying two logistics centers, three ISIS lines of communication, a heavy machine gun, three fighting positions, an ISIS-held building, a tunnel, two weapons caches and an ISIS supply route.

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On Jan. 16 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an unmanned aerial vehicle, an indirect fire position and an ISIS headquarters.

On Jan. 15 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 10 strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an explosive hazard, an ISIS vehicle, a headquarters center, two logistics centers, an indirect fire weapon, an ISIS fighting position, a headquarters building and an ISIS line of communication.

On Jan. 14 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 11 engagements against ISIS targets, destroying two pieces of ISIS engineering equipment, a fighting position, an ISIS vehicle, an indirect fire weapon, two logistics centers, two vehicle-borne bomb factories, an ISIS line of communication and a UAV.

On Jan. 13 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 13 strikes consisting of 24 engagements against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS supply routes, two ISIS motorcycles, two weapons caches, four fighting positions, a VBIED factory and an ISIS logistics center.

On Jan. 12 near Abu Kamal in Syria, coalition military forces conducted 14 strikes consisting of 17 engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS supply route, an indirect fire weapon, a fighting position, an ISIS headquarters and a UAV.

Strikes in Iraq

There were no reported strikes conducted in Iraq on Jan. 18, 17 and 14.

On Jan. 16 near Rutbah in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets, destroying three ISIS underground facilities and a generator.

On Jan. 15 near Rutbah in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets, destroying two ISIS weapons caches.

On Jan. 13 near Mosul in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of one engagement against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS tunnel.

On Jan. 12 near Tuz in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of three engagements against an ISIS tactical unit.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

Big League National Security

NEW: Joe Biden Bashes Incoming Trump Administration In Leaked 2016 Call to President of Ukraine

Completely inappropriate.

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Joe Biden speaks in critical and partisan terms of the incoming Trump administration in a new leaked call to the President of Ukraine unveiled Wednesday.

In the call, conducted in November 2016 a week after then-candidate Trump’s election victory, Biden bashes the incoming administration to the foreign leader, Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko. Biden assails the Trump transition team as incompetent, turning down the idea of visiting the country before the January transition before Trump is “fully briefed” on matters related to Ukraine.

In a second call, Biden asks for Poroshenko to describe his conversations with incoming President Trump, going to to speak of Trump in more dismissive terms. He describes Trump as a “dog who caught the car, and who doesn’t know what to do.” Not quite a “dog-faced pony soldier,” but definitely not an appropriate way for an outgoing vice president to describe an incoming president to a foreign leader.

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A Ukrainian comedian originally released the calls, suggesting questionable operational security within the conversations of Joe Biden and Poroshenko. Biden has a lengthy history of ethical questions regarding his relationship with Ukraine, including looking the other way as his son Hunter secured an extremely lucrative position at a Ukrainian oil company without any experience whatsoever in the energy industry.

Biden himself would later go on to demand the firing of a Ukrainian prosecutor who was investigating corruption allegations against the younger Biden, a clear conflict of interest Biden merely dismissed when he spoke openly of securing the prosecutor’s firing at a Council on Foreign Relations public event.

This is a totally inappropriate way for a Vice President to speak to a foreign leader, and the public should be concerned about how Biden plans to conduct diplomacy should he be elected President.

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