US Eyes New Phase of ISIS War With Strikes Near Baghdad

Strikes Carried Out Southwest of Iraqi Capital

US warplanes expanded the range of their airstrikes in Iraq once again today, targeting ISIS southwest of Baghdad in what officials are saying is part of a “new phase” of more aggressive strikes on them.

Centcom described the strike as part of an attempt to “degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, and confirmed attacks on vehicles near Sinjar in the nation’s northwest as well.

Since President Obama’s Wednesday speech, announcing a planned expansion of the war into Syria, there have been multiple predictions of an escalation of the war in Iraq as well, which seem to be panning out.

Yet Centcom insisted only that the attacks are an expansion “beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions,” which isn’t true, since several past US airstrikes in Anbar and Nineveh Provinces were launched primarily to help Kurdish and Iraqi troops on the ground as well.

Officials have suggested the first attacks inside Syria may not come for weeks, but that more escalations inside Iraq can be expected in the coming days.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.