U.S. intensifies air strikes in Syria, Iraq

Jun 07, 2016, 2:47 AM EDT
U.S.S. Harry S. Truman
(Source: Jerry Gunner/flickr)

Opening up a new front against Islamic State fighters in Syria and Iraq, U.S. Navy fighter jets flying from an aircraft carrier in the Mediterranean Sea bombed 16 targets of the militant group on Monday. Without sharing the specifics of the targeted sites, Navy officials said that the operation largely emphasized demolishing Islamic State’s financial nerve centers.

“We're getting the job done,” said Rear Admiral Bret Batchelder, commander of the U.S.S. Harry S. Truman strike group, writes Reuters. He added that the efforts of the coalition forces against IS have “started to bear fruit,” with about 45 percent of militant-held areas in 64 countries being recaptured. Islamic State’s oil and gas revenues have plummeted sharply since the U.S. started targeting its oilfields and supply routes in Syria.

Truman, which is one of the main launching points for bombing run against IS, has played a crucial role in the United States’ military campaign, notes CNN. No other vessel in America’s fleet has dropped as many bombs on IS as the Truman, which will remain in the Mediterranean for several more weeks.

In a separate development, U.S.-backed Syrian forces launched a major operation to retake the IS-held city of Manbij near the Turkish border. However, the advancement of security forces in Iraq’s Falluja remained slow, leading to a rift between the country’s the Shi'ite-led government and powerful Iranian-backed Shi'ite militia.