US Warplanes Fly Over ISIS’ Syrian City of al-Bab, But Don’t Strike

Pentagon: Flights Were a 'Visible Show of Force'

The Pentagon has confirmed that, in response to Turkish r4equests for military aid in the ongoing invasion of the ISIS city of al-Bab, in northern Syria, US warplanes flew over the city, though they did not conduct any airstrikes or apparently do anything else.

Pentagon spokesman Peter Cook confirmed the flights were a response to Turkish requests for “air support,” saying they were meant to be “a visible show of force.” Turkey didn’t publicly confirm the overflights, and it isn’t clear from their comments they would’ve seen an overflight as “air support.”

Turkey did, however, get foreign air support yesterday, when Russian warplanes attacked ISIS targets around the outskirts of al-Bab. This was also a surprise, as Turkey had publicly requested help from the US-led coalition, not the Russians, but it is likely the US comments about overflights are meant to emphasize that they did something in al-Bab too.

Al-Bab is just east of the city of Aleppo, and the last ISIS-held city in Aleppo Province. Since their invasion last year, Turkey has captured the bulk of ISIS territory in Aleppo Province, and has said they intend to attack the Kurdish-held city of Manbij as soon as Bab falls.

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Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.