Iraqi Security Forces liberated the city of Qal’at Sherqat, also known as Ashur, on Sept. 22, moving closer to its goal of taking back Mosul from ISIS, Air Force Col. John Dorrian, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, said during a Friday briefing. “The removal of Daesh from Sherqat moves them further away from Iraqi supply lines and inhibits their freedom of movement, leading up to the liberation of Mosul,” Dorrian said. Also, coalition forces conducted airstrikes along the Tigris River, destroying ISIS weapons caches and boats and targeting “tactical units that may otherwise have been engaged in the liberation battle.” US commanders have said the coalition is prepared for the battle to reclaim Mosul and are waiting on the go ahead from Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al Abadi.
U.S. Air Force F-35s and F-22s regularly deploy deep into the Pacific region from Alaska, Utah, and Hawaii. In the future, though, the head of U.S. Indo-Pacific Command would like to see the Air Force permanently station fifth-generation aircraft west of the international date line—closer to China.