US-Led Coalition Expands Geography of Syria Airstrikes After Russia’s Warning

A US-led coalition of over 60 nations managed to stop the offensive of Islamic State (ISIL) militants in Syria and Iraq, the US Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) director said Sunday.

The US-led coalition again expanded the geography of its airstrikes in Syria following Russia’s warning earlier this week.

MOSCOW (Sputnik) — On June 19, the Russian Defense Ministry said that any aircraft and drone in the area of Russian Aerospace Forces’s operations on Syria would be tracked by the air defense systems as aerial targets. Moreover, Russia halted all interactions with the US within the framework on the memorandum of incident prevention in Syrian skies. The move came following the US-led coalition’s downing of a Syrian army’s jet near Raqqa.

The US-led coalition carried out 27 strikes against Daesh in Syria on June 23, including 21 near the terror group’s de facto capital of Raqqa, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release on Saturday.

“Near Raqqah [Raqqa], 21 strikes engaged 15 ISIS [Daesh] tactical units; destroyed 10 fighting positions, six vehicles, a VBIED [vehicle borne improvised explosive device], an ISIS staging area, a tactical vehicle, a mortar tube, and a mortar system; damaged an ISIS supply route; and suppressed an ISIS tactical unit,” the statement read.

According to previous press releases, on June 20-21, the coalition struck only near Raqqa, however, on June 22, it restarted aerial operations near Abu Kamal, Deir ez-Zor and Palmyra. Moreover, the number of sorties almost doubled. The press release on June 23 airstrikes confirmed the tendency with the coalition resuming operations near Al Hasakah, and Ash Shaddadi.

On Friday, six additional strikes in Syria destroyed Daesh oil storage tanks, front-end loaders, a pump jack and several vehicles near Abu Kamal, while two strikes near Al Hasakah destroyed four artillery systems and two tanks.

A strike near Ash Shaddadi destroyed a VBIED factory, while a strike near Deir ez-Zor destroyed a front-end loader.