'US air power stymied Islamic State in Iraq and Syria but can't destroy ISIS alone'

The US air power has managed to degrade the Islamic State's capabilities, but will not be able to destroy it alone, said US Air Force Major General Jeffrey Harrigian.

By Supriya Jha | Updated: Sep 30, 2014, 16:30 PM IST
'US air power stymied Islamic State in Iraq and Syria but can't destroy ISIS alone'

Washington: The US air power has managed to degrade the Islamic State's capabilities, but will not be able to destroy it alone, said US Air Force Major General Jeffrey Harrigian.

As US and its anti-Islamic State coalition partners continue to strike the extremist spots across Iraq and Syria, US Air Force Major General Jeffrey Harrigian said that the air power has managed to weaken the ISIS capabilities like control and command and prevented large-scale force massing.

He added that gradually, they will also target ISIL’s financing, which will require “a whole-of-government approach to address”. But the general added that US air power alone will not destroy ISIL.

Major General Jeffrey Harrigian added that a total of 3,800 total sorties have been flown over Iraq and Syria, out of which the US Air Force has executed some 50 percent of the air strikes in Syria thus far, and 70 percent in both Iraq and Syria.

“Air power’s targeted actions are disrupting ISIL’s command and control, their logistics and infrastructure, and their freedom of movement,” Harrigian said. “We see air power as one of the fundamental components of the comprehensive strategy.”

Speaking in a press conference yesterday, Harrigian also said how the ISIS terrorists were adjusting to the air strikes by dispersing themselves, making it more difficult to be targeted.

"They are now dispersing themselves to allow themselves situations to be more survivable, if you will, which requires us to work harder to locate them, and then develop the situation to appropriately target them," Harrigian said.

US started launching air strikes against the ISIS in Iraq since August 8 and in September extended the targeted strikes to Syria, in which it is joined by anti-IS coalition partners that include Arab States.