The coalition on Dec. 19 delivered its largest strike so far in the fight against ISIS, dropping more than 140 munitions and striking five gas and oil separation points and two crude oil collection points in Syria, the spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve said. The strikes, which reduced at least one of the gas and oil separation points to “nothing more than a greasy spot in the desert,” will likely have a significant impact on ISIS’s revenue stream, Army Col. Steve Warren said in a phone conference from Baghdad. The attacks are part of the coalition’s ongoing Operation Tidal Wave II. Warren also told reporters that Iraqi troops in Fallujah found a document that appears to order ISIS troops to impersonate Iraqi security forces, then commit atrocities against locals and disseminate videos of the attacks to discredit Iraqi troops before withdrawing from the city. “Clearly this isn’t the behavior of a legitimate government or of a legitimate military force, it’s the behavior of thugs, it’s the behavior of killers, and it’s the behavior of terrorists,” Warren said. “We’re starting to see a change in their behavior that may be related to some desperation. … It seems like they’re beginning to feel the pressure.” (See also: A-10s, AC-130s Destroy More ISIS Fuel Trucks; Strikes Destroy ISIS Fuel Trucks; Busiest Week in Fight Against ISIS.)
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.