More US Attack Planes Head to Iraq, But ISIS Targets Elusive

Planes, Drones Sent From Afghan War to Kuwait Base

The US continues to escalate its air war in Iraq and Syria, shifting a significant number of attack planes, including at least a dozen A-10s, from Afghanistan to a base in Kuwait, where they will be used for strikes against ISIS targets in Iraq.

Officials report that a number of Reaper drones capable of firing missiles are also planned to be redeployed to Kuwait to join the war in the weeks to come, as part of the effort to increase attacks on ISIS.

Yet targeting ISIS is easier said than done, according to Major Sonny Alberdeston, the targeting chief at the Kuwait base. “When we target a nation-state, we’ve typically been looking at their capability for decades, and have extensive target sets.”

Not so with ISIS, which has amassed its territory in around a year, and doesn’t have a ton of fixed sites. Maj. Alberdeston says that fixed sites like barracks that the US does know about are the prime targets.

Yet many reports from the past months have said the US and allied airstrikes aren’t going so great, with many of the planes running sorties that never bomb anything because they can’t find a target. Adding planes may add to bombing runs, but it doesn’t mean they’ll be any more successful finding places to bomb.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is senior editor of