After lull, US-led air campaign in Syria intensifies

November 8, 2015 18:35


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WASHINGTON - The US-led air campaign against Islamic State militants in Syria, which ground to a near halt in late October, has intensified in recent days.

Coalition forces carried out 56 strikes against Islamic State in Syria in the eight days from Oct. 30 to Nov. 6 after going the previous eight days with only three strikes, according to US military figures. The strikes have focused on the towns of Mar'a, al Hawl, al Hasakah and Dayr az Zawr.

The United States and its allies carried out a dozen strikes in Syria on Saturday, the US military said in a statement on Sunday.

The jump in air and rocket strikes in Syria coincided with Washington's shift in approach to the conflict after efforts to train Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State collapsed. Russia also deployed warplanes to Syria, adding pressure on Washington to take more effective action.

The White House confirmed on Oct. 30 it would deploy dozens of special operations forces to Syria to advise and assist a coalition of rebels already on the ground. Defense Secretary Ash Carter also signaled his intent to intensify the air campaign.

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