As noted on Checkpoint earlier this morning, President Obama visits the Pentagon today, two months after the United States began launching airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq. Those strikes have since been expanded into Syria, where they have been carried out regularly since Sept. 23.
The map above outlines where those airstrikes have occurred as of Tuesday night. For those following the conflict, the size and location of the red bubbles may not come as a surprise. But there are still certain details worth noting:
— The bubble growing the most quickly is around Kobane, the border town in northern Syria near Turkey. Eighteen strikes had been disclosed there since late Tuesday, and U.S. Central Command announced six more overnight. Kobane has been under siege by the Islamic State for months, with many civilians fleeing and others staying to fight alongside Kurdish forces.
— The United States has launched nearly 100 airstrikes around the Mosul Dam — a response to the potential threat if militants were to destroy it. As noted by The Washington Post yesterday, water is now being used by militants as a weapon in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. military backed a ground operation by Iraqi and Kurdish troops in August to wrest control of the Mosul Dam back from the Islamists after they briefly seized it.
— The United States began launching airstrikes around Baghdad on Sept. 15, and had conducted at least 26 there since, according to CENTCOM. Airstrikes also have increased around Fallujah, the western Iraqi city that fell to the militants in January. U.S. military officials have not said what kind of aircraft carried out those strikes, but it’s likely that a handful of airstrikes carried out by U.S. military helicopters recently occurred around Baghdad, since they are believed to be flown out of Baghdad International Airport.
— The U.S. carried out eight strikes against the Khorasan Group, an affiliate of al-Qaeda in Syria, on Sept. 23. They used 47 Tomahawk missiles to do it, however, with multiple missiles striking some locations.
— The U.S. military said early Wednesday that it had carried out nine more airstrikes in Syria and five more in Iraq. They are not reflected on this map.
Related on Checkpoint
Kobane in crisis: A look at a Syrian town at the center of the Islamic State fight