Airstrikes Have Blunted Islamist Advance in Iraq

? Air Force and Navy fighters and remotely piloted aircraft have conducted 15 “targeted airstrikes” against Islamic terrorists threatening US facilities and personnel in Iraq as well as thousands of Yazidi refugees trapped on Sinjar Mountain, said a top US officer on Monday. F-15Es, F-16s, armed MQ-1 RPAs, and Navy F/A-18s have carried out precision strikes, Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville, the Joint Staff’s director for operations, told reporters at an Aug. 11 Pentagon briefing. Although those strikes have “blunted the advance” of Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant terrorists, “they are unlikely to affect ISIL’s overall progress,” said Mayville. “ISIL remains focused on gaining additional territory in Iraq,” he said. US manned and unmanned aircraft also have flown more than 16 intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions to track the ISIL forces and assess the threat to the refugees on Sinjar, he said. Air Force transports, aided over the weekend by British aircraft, have conducted 14 humanitarian sorties to airdrop urgently needed supplies to members of the Yazidi religious minority group who fled to the rugged Sinjar Mountain to escape a likely ISIL massacre. The combined effort delivered 16,000 gallons of water and 17,000 meals, said Mayville. (Mayville transcript)