US-Led Coalition Carries Out 38 Sorties in Syria, Iraq

US-Led Coalition Carries Out 38 Sorties in Syria, IraqUS-Led Coalition Carries Out 38 Sorties in Syria, Iraq

The US-led coalition carried out 38 airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Syria and Iraq over a 24-hour period Saturday into Sunday with nearly half of the sorties conducted around the self-proclaimed IS capital of Raqqa. Fighting in northern Syria has alarmed neighboring Turkey, which has vowed retaliation if it feels threatened.

A spokesman for the US-led coalition Operation: Inherent Resolve said 18 of the 38 airstrikes destroyed vehicles and bridges in Raqqa province representing, in his words, “one of the largest deliberate engagements…conducted to date in Syria.”  He said it will deny the IS group “the ability to move military capabilities throughout Syria and into Iraq,” VOA reported.

A militant website said at least 10 people were killed and dozens wounded in the airstrikes in Raqqa. The airstrikes also targeted IS fighters, structures and equipment near Hasakah and Kobani in Syria and Habbaniya, Haditha, Makmur, Mosul, Sinjar and Tal Afar in Iraq.

Pro-government newspapers in Turkey have reported a Turkish military intervention is possible with a goal of establishing a 100-kilometer-long and 30-kilometer-deep buffer zone. Turkey has urged Washington and its coalition partners to announce a no-fly zone and safe haven in northern Syria for refugees who, by the millions, have sought safety in Turkey, costing the country billions.

Following recent battlefield successes against IS fighters by the Syrian Kurds, Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan also has warned Turkey would never accept a Kurdish state in northern Syria.