A U.S. airstrike on an ISIS terrorist camp near Mosul killed 40 militants, the deadliest attack yet in America’s campaign against the Islamist group.
The attack was carried out by a B-1 bomber, which struck at a camp near Iraq’s second largest city. This week marked the beginning of a new, more focused series of attacks against ISIS.
U.S. Central Command told USA Today that the attack destroyed “a large ISIL ground unit,” referring to the group by one of its other names.
Though the attack was the deadliest to date in America’s campaign in Iraq, officials said it is not meant to destroy ISIS entirely.
“We won’t decimate ISIS with air strikes that kill 40,” said Michael O’Hanlon, a military analyst with the Brookings Institution. “But if we can convince them not to go on the offensive, we’ll buy time for the rest of the strategy to unfold.”
Air strikes against ISIS are especially critical around the key city of Mosul, which was taken by militants earlier this summer in their lightning campaign across northern Iraq. Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said American air strikes could isolate ISIS in Mosul and allow Iraqi forces to retake the city.
ISIS has taken such complete control in Mosul that the group is now instituting its own education system, ordering that certain pictures be removed from textbooks and science lessons not in line with their strict interpretation of Islam have been banned.
From The Associated Press:
The new Mosul curriculum, allegedly issued by ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi himself, stresses that any reference to the republics of Iraq or Syria must be replaced with “Islamic State.” Pictures that violate its ultra-conservative interpretation of Islam will be ripped out of books. Anthems and lyrics that encourage love of country are now viewed as a show of “polytheism and blasphemy,” and are strictly banned.
The new curriculum has been met with much resistance.
“What’s important to us now is that the children continue receiving knowledge correctly, even if they lose a whole academic year and an official certification,” a Mosul resident who identified himself as Abu Hasan told the The Associated Press.
The U.S. is expected to continue air strikes against ISIS in Mosul as Iraqi forces prepare to retake the city.
[Image via PML]