The campaign against the terrorist group, ISIS, continues. And with each day, more countries join the coalition already conducting air strikes in Iraq and Syria. Here’s the latest.
European Countries Join ISIS Fight
Several European countries will join the U.S.-led coalition against the extremist group, Islamic State.
Britain’s Parliament voted overwhelmingly to support coalition operations in Iraq. The 524 to 43 vote does not allow Britain’s air force to conduct operations in Syria, though.
Here’s Prime minister David Cameron making the case for military action against the extremist group.
“The question before the house today is how we keep the British people safe from the threat posed by ISIL, and in particular what role our armed forces should play in the international coalition to dismantle and ultimately destroy what President Obama has rightly called this network of death,” Cameron said.
*Note: Different acronyms have been used when talking about the extremist group including ISIS, ISIL and IS. All of them pertain to the same group.*
Britain will bring six Tornado fighter aircraft and their crews to the coalition force. Plus, surveillance and intelligence capabilities.
Other contributions are coming from Denmark, Belgium and the Netherlands. Denmark and Belgium will contribute six and seven F-16 fighter jets, respectively. The Netherlands will provide 250 military personnel along with more than 100 trainers to help the Iraqi military. Greece intends to send small arms to Kurdish forces in northern Iraq. Interestingly, none of the European countries plan to operate in Syria.
Basically, the U.S. is pretty much handling airstrikes. These other countries just make the coalition look good on paper.
Prepare for the Long Haul
U.S. and British officials say this will not be a quick fight. It won’t last weeks or months, but years. Cameron told British Parliament victory against the Islamic State will take years.
This was echoed by Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby. “We are steeling ourselves for that period of time.”
ISIS Oil Refineries Hit
The latest airstrikes were aimed at oil refineries controlled by ISIS militants. These refineries allow ISIS to make anywhere from $1 million to $3 million a day selling oil on the black market. That’s why so many people are concerned about ISIS. They are incredibly well-funded, much of it coming from oil sales.
Image credits: US Air Forces Central Command, Department of Defense