The US-led coalition on March 17 targeted an ISIS facility believed to be connected with chemical weapons production in Hit, Iraq, along with an ISIS headquarters. The strike included multiple targets, destroying the headquarters and nine weapons storage buildings in Anbar province, coalition spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said Monday. “We’re not completely in a place where we can disclose everything, but there was some chemical infrastructure associated with that Hit strike we did on the 17th,” Warren said. “We believe it was very effective.” The airstrikes were conducted in advance of an Iraqi push to retake the village. ISIS has repeatedly been linked to chemical weapon use. A November report by the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons determined that ISIS had used sulfur mustard on a Syrian village.
The U.S. supports “a stronger and more capable” European defense, Defense Secretary Lloyd J. Austin III said during an Oct. 22 press conference in Brussels—but that defense should not duplicate the functions and capabilities of the NATO alliance.