Though the US may be far from completely writing off the Islamic State, the anti-coalition airstrikes have “halted and blunted” the momentum enjoyed by the ISIS in Iraq, claimed Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby.
In a press briefing, the Pentagon Press Secretary said that the US-led airstrikes had significantly damaged the ISIS capabilities by destroying “hundreds and hundreds of vehicles, artillery positions, checkpoints”.
Though Kirby didn’t give any specific number of how many ISIS members had been killed, he said that hundreds of them had been killed.
“We don’t have the ability to count every nose that we schwack,” he said.
However, Kirby suggested that it would be naive to completely write off the terror group saying, “We need to be prepared in the future for renewed offenses from ISIS”.
The Pentagon spokesperson also talked about the planned US training to Iraqi soldiers, saying that in 2015, “I think you’ll start to see additional trainers to #Iraq by the end of this month”.
He added that the US would train a total of 12 brigades – 9 Iraqi, 3 Kurdish, in coming weeks.
“This isn’t about rebuilding the Iraqi army; it’s about making their units stronger, more battlefield-competent,” he added.
In another significant remark, the Pentagon for the first time accepted that it was investigating the civilian casualties that may have been caused by the US-led strikes in Iraq and Syria.
“What I know is that Central Command is investigating several (of) what they believe to be credible allegations of civilian casualties… This is something we always take seriously. We are very mindful of trying to mitigate the risk to civilians every time we operate, everywhere we operate,” Kirby said.
The US and member-nations of anti-IS coalition continue to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq under Operation Inherent Resolve.