More ISR Flights, Attack Aircraft for ISIS Fight

The Air Force will increase its intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance mission over Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told troops during a visit to the United Arab Emirates. Carter, speaking April 16 at Al-Dhafra Air Base, said aircraft such as the U-2, RQ-4 Global Hawk, and E-8 JSTARS will increase its flights as part of the fight to target ISIS. This will be coupled with an increase of ground troops as well, he said. “We’re looking to do more, but it ranges from in the air to on the ground,” Carter told reporters on Sunday. He said the additional forces is “consistent with our overall strategic approach, which is to enable local forces ultimately to hold and sustain the defeat of ISIL.” On Monday, he announced more Apache attack helicopters also will deploy inside Iraq to help local forces fight ISIS, along with $415 million in aid to help Peshmerga troops in northern Iraq. (Transcripts of Carter’s UAE media gaggle and Al-Dhafra troop talk.)