The U.S. Goes on the Offensive Against ISIS

Islamist rebels from ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria) an extremist Al-Qaeda Linked group in an area close to the front line, where heavy clashes (day before the battle lasted 24hours) between the rebels and pro-government troops have been taking place on the outskirts of the northern city of Aleppo, on July 4, 2013.
Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/Corbis

The U.S. just conducted its first two purely offensive strikes against ISIS following President Obama’s announcement last week that the mission is expanding, and the goal is now to “degrade and ultimately destroy” the terrorist group. The two attacks were conducted on Sunday and Monday, when U.S. planes hit an ISIS combat post that was firing on Iraqi troops near Baghdad and six vehicles in northern Iraq. The U.S. has been conducting air strikes against ISIS since August 7, but the first 160 strikes didn’t count. While U.S. forces had been limited to humanitarian missions, defending Iraqi infrastructure, and protecting American personnel and facilities, officials said the two latest strikes were not triggered by any advance by ISIS.