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U.S. Navy Strikes ISIS Targets in Iraq

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An F/A-18C Hornet attached to the Golden Warriors of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July 26, 2014. US Navy Photo

An F/A-18C Hornet attached to the Golden Warriors of Strike Fighter Squadron (VFA) 87 launches from the flight deck of the aircraft carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77) on July 26, 2014. US Navy Photo

Two U.S. Navy F/A-18 Hornet strike fighters operating from the carrier USS George HW Bush (CVN-77) have struck an artillery piece operated by Iraq and Syria Islamic State (ISIS or ISIL) terrorists near Irbil in northern Iraq.

The two fighters used 500-pound laser-guided bombs to destroy the target, which was being used by the terrorists to attack Kurdish military units defending the beleaguered city. The air strike marks the first return of U.S. combat forces to Iraq since the end of the occupation in 2011.


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“At approximately 6:45 a.m. EDT, the U.S. military conducted a targeted airstrike against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) terrorists,” Pentagon press secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby said in a statement. “Two F/A-18 aircraft dropped 500-pound laser-guided bombs on a mobile artillery piece near Erbil. ISIL was using this artillery to shell Kurdish forces defending Erbil where U.S. personnel are located.”

It is not clear which version of the Hornet was involved in the strike. However, according to the Associated Press, the fighters were Navy aircraft based on the carrier USS George H.W. Bush (CVN-77).

The air strikes come hours after U.S. President Barack Obama authorized U.S. forces to drop humanitarian aid and conduct missions to defend American facilities and personnel anywhere inside Iraq against the ISIL onslaught.

“We intend to stay vigilant and take action if these terrorist forces threaten our personnel or facilities anywhere in Iraq, including our consulate in Irbil and our embassy in Baghdad,” Obama said. “We’re also providing urgent assistance to Iraqi government and Kurdish forces so they can more effectively wage the fight against ISIL.”

Meanwhile, U.S. forces are already taking action to lift a siege on the Yezidis religious minority group that has been facing the treat of extermination from the ISIL terrorists. Air Force operated Boeing C-17 strategic transports and two Lockheed Martin C-130 Hercules—which were escorted by F/A-18E/F Super Hornets—delivered much need relief supplies to the besieged group. The aircraft delivered 5,300 gallons of drinking water and 8,000 pre-packaged meals.

  • HUSSEIN ALI ALLAWI

    I think Amercain forces need many strike for ISIS and any group violence in Iraq to back all refugees of people at home in Mosul and any Iraqi province in Sunni area , the U.S have human responsibility for protect Iraqi minority from terrorist

  • Pat Gang

    I’m sure the thousands of terrorists in ISIS are quivering in their sandals over a strike by TWO (count ‘em) F-18s that took out a couple of cannons.

    War making at its most idiotic.

    “Thus it is that in war the victorious strategist only seeks battle after the victory has been won, whereas he who is destined to defeat first fights and afterward looks for victory.” – Sun Tzu, circa 500 BC

    • Secundius

      @ Pat Gang.

      I seriously doubt anybody in ISIS, ever read “The Art of War by Sun Tzu”. Their to wrapped into themselve too have read a book of any kind. I’d be very much surprised if they even bothered to read the “Holy Koran”, if they can read at all.

      • The_Universal_Curmudgeon

        Your doubt may be “serious” but you would be surprised what “the other guys” read.

        On the other hand, it was attitudes like yours that stood the United States of America in good stead on 07 DEC 41. I mean, after all, everyone knew that the Japanese aircraft were inferior to American aircraft, and that Japanese made lousy pilots because they were all little yellow guys with buck-teeth and “coke bottle” glasses, and that the Japanese couldn’t actually build modern ships (and wouldn’t know what to do with them even if they could), and that the Japanese didn’t stand a chance against “White” people if it came to war.

        • Secundius

          @ The Universal_Curmudgeon.

          You don’t know me. So don’t even try to understand me. When you do understand me, than you’ll know the person I truly am..

          • The_Universal_Curmudgeon

            Very good.

            Now if only the US government would apply the same philosophy to “the other guys” instead of acting like everyone else in the world was just “a couple of guys from Albuquerque”.

            When your starting point is “We are better than everyone else and no one has any chance of opposing us so we can do whatever we feel like doing and we will be “greeted with showers of rice and flowers” – after which we will tell the poor, benighted, locals how to become civilized.” you stand a pretty good chance of finding out things which surprise you. (But which you won’t believe – thus starting the whole cycle all over again.)

          • Secundius

            @ The_Universal_Curmudgeon.

            Stop TROLLING the inland waterways, and come out into deeper waters.

  • On Dre

    If the IS took American made arms then we need to repossess those things. Or at least make them inoperable. If this can be done by F-18 then OK.

    • The_Universal_Curmudgeon

      So, if ISIL wasn’t using “American made arms” would you be OK with what they were doing?

      How about if ISIL didn’t “take” those “American made arms”, but rather had them given to them by other Iraqis who were legally in possession of them – would you be OK with what ISIL is doing?

      If ISIL has 10,000 “fighters” (a not unreasonably low estimate based on current intelligence reports) and an airstrike kills 5 of them at a cost of around $236,000 (flying hour cost plus cost of ordnance [amortized cost of aircraft not included - but allowing for a 50% inaccuracy factor]) and the US military carries out 10 airstrikes per day – {A} how long is it going to kill all the ISIL “fighters” if ISIL is recruiting 25 people per day and what will be the total cost; and {B} what is the annual cost going to be?

      NOTE:- The first half is a “trick” question, but the answer to the second half is ~$796,245,000+ (where the “+” factors in additional costs arising from accidents, aircraft being shot down, increased wear and tear on airframes requiring the purchase of replacement aircraft and the cost of maintaining the “bases” where the F-18s operate from.

  • Marcd30319

    Why don’t the DOD send some AC-130 and do a proper job.

  • Segelistic

    God bless America!

  • Diogenes

    What will happen when some brave American aviator gets shot down and ISIL parades him/her around and perhaps then executes the person on TV? Will the US then put boots on ground? Probably. Non-Arabs once again intervening in matters they don’t understand to protect mighty oil… . Americans sure don’t learn very fast… the best characterization of American foreign policy ever shared with me came from a Danish UNPROFOR colonel in Bosnia in ’93… “Bomb now, think later.”

    • GJohnson

      Unfortunately, I have to agree here. What was needed was either a massive series of strategic strikes or nothing. Pin-pricks won’t solve ISIS’ advance.

  • http://www.usmc.mil @notrizzo

    I’m not at all optimistic about how effective any US efforts can be in Iraq so long as al Maliki remains in power. ISIS is overrated as a military threat, but against an incompetent Iraq military and a shattered society supporting it….
    That said, if US strikes can even the playing field for the Peshmerga and we can get them the weapons they need to establish parity on the battlefield I have full confidence the Peshmerga will mop the floor with ISIS.
    That of couse is small consolation and god only knows the pandora’s box of trouble that would come from a US backed independent Kurdistan.
    In Iraq, good news only seems good when compared to the awful news your used to…

  • Secundius

    A squadron or two WARTHOG wouldn’t be bad either!

  • OLD GUY

    A great group of comments here. Here are some more.

    1. Why don’t we get out of the UN (Useless Nuisances), and use that money to fund the war?
    2. This operation can be the exception to test the rule of you must have YOUR boots on the ground. Here we can use a reinvigorated Iraqi force.
    3. If we are going to operate this type of action, then let’s get some “Hedgehogs” in there. Most effective anti-tank A/C ever. As suggested, lots of AC-130s would, also, make a good addition, I’m sure that the Kurds would be happy for us to operate from there.
    4.Also what ever happened to Napalm?

    • Secundius

      @ OLD GUY.

      We still have Napalm. Where’s it is, is the mystery!

  • OLD GUY

    Another thought, Where were they during the Benghazi attack?

    • Andrea

      No kidding!!!! No offense to the Iraqi people but we have a screwed up priority when we are right on this yet allowed our embassy (which is deemed US territory) to be attacked and it’s ambassador, our ambassador, tortured and killed!