“The significant airstrikes tonight were executed to deny Daesh the ability to move military capabilities throughout Syria and into Iraq”, said coalition spokesman Lt. Col. Thomas Gilleran, using the Arabic acronym for the Islamic State group.
Obama plans to meet with his national security team and speak on the subject in the afternoon, according to the White House.
Half of the strikes targeted the area around the extremist group’s self-styled capital, the Syrian city of Raqqa.
Speaking ahead of the Obama briefing, United States Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter told journalists that the weekend s strikes were not aimed at particular IS figures, but were part of an effort to help Kurdish forces and “limit ISIL (IS) freedom of movement”. “The opportunities we were pursuing… were specific tactical opportunities, they were not individuals per se”. The group claimed responsibility for an attack on a resort hotel in Tunisia that killed 38 people and the bombing of a Kuwaiti mosque that killed 25. A year after the Islamic State group seized the city of Mosul and spread south, effectively dividing the country and plunging it into chaos, Iraq is struggling with a staggering political, economic and humanitarian crisis it may take generations to recover from.
Carter is due to testify in front of the Senate Armed Services Committee on Tuesday to discuss the campaign, which has come under renewed criticism from USA lawmakers.
Backed by U.S.-led coalition airstrikes, Kurdish forces wrested control of Ain Issa and Tal Abyad last month.
p style=”text-align: center;”>