A series of large-scale bombings that rocked Baghdad, killing dozens of civilians, represents a shift back to terrorist tactics by ISIS and an attempt to “throw a punch that can land,” the US-led coalition fighting the group said. Multiple car bombs in Shiite-dominated neighborhoods of Iraq’s capital on Tuesday killed at least 76 people and injured up to 110 others, reported NBC News. The use of car bombs shows ISIS reverting to the mid-2000s tactics used by al Qaeda in Iraq, said Army Col. Steve Warren, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve. “This enemy has really suffered a string of defeats on the battlefield,” Warren said during a Wednesday briefing. “Nothing they have done over the last several months has been effective. … This is a weapon they are choosing.” Following the attacks, there was talk of Iraq redeploying troops to help protect Baghdad, a move the country decided against. US and coalition forces in the country “stand in grieving” with Iraq, but are not deterred by the attacks, Warren said. The US does not believe it needs additional security in its Baghdad compound at this time, he added.
The Air Force overall reduced its size by 120 aircraft in fiscal year 2021, but kept about the same number of fighter, bomber and attack aircraft, according to data supplied by the service. The F-35 fleet saw the biggest increase while the B-1B bomber fleet saw the largest decline.