Monday night, the US launched air strikes on some 20 ISIS and Al Qaeda targets in northern Syria. Five Arab countries contributed assets as well. Four countries provided aircraft, those being Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Jordan. Qatar also provided some support. United States Air Force bombers were involved, along with US Navy F-18 Hornets from the aircraft carrier George H.W. Bush stationed in the Persian Gulf. Tomahawk cruise missiles were also launched by a Navy destroyer in the Red Sea. Targets included the headquarters for the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, ISIL, as well as some 5-6 targets of an Al Qaeda group operating in Syria. The White House confirms that a phone call was made ahead of time to Syria, notifying them of the attack. President Barack Obama was said to have been monitoring the activity through the evening and had contacted Speaker of the House John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi.
So, it finally happened! Weeks of muddled talk and confusing messages can now be put to rest, perhaps. The lack of solid leadership had been made more clear Sunday night during the season premiere of the CBS news magazine, ′60 Minutes′, featuring an interview with Leon Panetta. He claimed that Obama had been warned of the growing ISIS threat in 2012 and how all of the major national security chiefs, including Panetta and Hillary Clinton, all advised Obama for taking immediate action. But none was taken until after August 8, 2014.
Why were air strikes launched against ISIS now? For several weeks, many Democrat pundits have been arguing that the few air strikes launched since August 8 had stopped ISIS cold. But, as usual, they were wrong. Since last week Wednesday, ISIS-ISIL forces have captured some 64 towns and villages, including 8 in Syria mostly populated by Kurds. These attacks by ISIS sent some 130,000 Kurdish refugees fleeing across the Syrian border into Turkey. But the bulk of the ISIS attacks were in Iraq, despite some 170 air strikes launched by the United States, along with one launched by France.
What will be the outcome of the US air strikes on ISIS in Syria? Who can say? In the past week, two more videos have surfaced of Western hostages reading ISIS threats against the United States, the United Kingdom and France. So there will probably be more beheadings of hostages. Beyond that, the latest estimates now are that the size of the army of the Islamic State has increased from some 20,000 to over 30,000. They are still collecting some $6 million dollars per day from selling oil on the black market, plus money collected in taxes and ransoms. Even the best guesses right now are that it will take six months to a year to train and equip ′moderate′ Syrian rebels to fight ISIS on the ground in Syria. This past week has seen ISIS make territorial gains in Iraq, too. This war is just starting. So grab some ‘Bug Juice’, and watch some real-life Navy heroes head into ‘The Danger Zone’ in the video below!