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The Pentagon's Own Airstrike Data Doesn't Show Any ISIS 'Defeat' Whatsoever
Reports of ISIS's demise have been greatly exaggerated, according to airstrike data released by Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve on Friday.
- From Dec. 16 to Dec. 29, coalition aircraft conducted 469 airstrikes 'consisting of 1,001 engagements" against ISIS targets in Syria, according to a CJTF-OIR release published on Jan. 4.
- Those strikes "engaged 666 ISIS tactical units, and destroyed 291 fighting positions, 153 staging areas, 67 supply routes, 27 command and control nodes, 27 petroleum oil lubricant storage facilities, 25 vehicles, 14 tunnels, 14 weapons cache, [and] 13 improvised explosive device facilities," among other ISIS infrastructure.
- According to the latest summary of U.S. air power under OIR published on Oct. 31, those two weeks appear to capture the tail-end of a ramp-up in airstrikes, which rose from a record low of 241 weapons released in July 2018 to 876 in October 2018 after a steady decline from a record high of 5,075 weapons released in August 2017.
- This apparent uptick in strikes coincided with President Donald Trump's Dec. 19 declaration that "we have defeated ISIS in Syria, my only reason for being there during the Trump Presidency" as cause for the rapid U.S. withdrawal from the war-torn country.
- According to Pentagon data released as part of an August Inspector General report for Operation Inherent Resolve and Operation Pacific Eagle–Philippines, ISIS had an estimated 14,000 fighters in Syria remaining in Syria despite its ouster from its regional stronghold in Raqqa in October 2017.
- On Sunday, Sen. Lindsey Graham indicated that Trump's planned withdrawal was almost certainly not happening anymore. "He promised to destroy ISIS. He's going to keep that promise," he said. "We're not there yet, but as I said today, we're inside the 10-yard line and the president understands the need to finish the job."
After the plane landed, Pope Army Airfield was silent on Saturday.
A chaplain prayed and a family member sobbed.
Tarah McLaughlin's fingers traced her husband's flag-draped coffin before she pressed two fingers to her lips then pressed her fingers to the coffin.
The remains of Staff Sgt. Ian McLaughlin, 29, of Newport News, Virginia, arrived back to Fort Bragg a week after he was killed Jan. 11 by an improvised explosive device in Afghanistan.
Pfc. Miguel Angel Villalon, 21, of Joliet, Illinois, also was killed in the same incident.
The U.S. Space Force has a name tape for uniforms now. Get excited people.
In a tweet from its official account, the Space Force said its uniform name tapes have "touched down in the Pentagon," sharing a photo of it on the chest of Gen. John W. Raymond, the newly-minted Chief of Space Operations for the new service branch nested in the Department of the Air Force.
PALM BEACH, Fla. (Reuters) - U.S. President Donald Trump gave a minute-to-minute account of the U.S. drone strikes that killed Iranian military commander Qassem Soleimani in remarks to a Republican fund-raising dinner on Friday night, according to audio obtained by CNN.
With his typical dramatic flourish, Trump recounted the scene as he monitored the strikes from the White House Situation Room when Soleimani was killed.
The U.S. Navy will name its fourth Ford-class aircraft carrier after Doris Miller, an iconic World War II sailor recognized for his heroism during the Pearl Harbor attack, according to reports in The Honolulu Star-Advertiser and U.S. Naval Institute News.
Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly is expected to announce the naming of CVN-81 during a ceremony on Monday in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, according to USNI. Two of Miller's nieces are expected to be there, according to the Star-Advertiser.
Two immigrants, a pastor and an Army sergeant have been convicted of conspiracy to commit marriage fraud as part of an illegal immigration scheme, according to federal prosecutors.
Rajesh Ramcharan, 45; Diann Ramcharan, 37; Sgt. Galima Murry, 31; and the Rev. Ken Harvell, 60, were found guilty Thursday after a nine-day jury trial, according to a news release from the U.S. attorney's office in Colorado.
The conspiracy involved obtaining immigration benefits for Rajesh Ramcharan, Diann Ramcharan, and one of their minor children, the release said. A married couple in 2007 came to the U.S. from Trinidad and Tobago on visitor visas. They overstayed the visas and settled in Colorado.