The war against ISIS is going well and their forces are being beaten back by US-led coalition forces.
According to ABC News, the US dealt a major blow to ISIS on Monday. Two militant training camps and 50 ISIS fighters in Yemen were destroyed by US airstrikes.
The Pentagon released a statement describing the attack, “U.S. forces killed dozens of ISIS members in a strike on two ISIS training camps, Oct. 16, in Al Bayda Governorate, Yemen, disrupting the organization’s attempts to train new fighters.”
These camps were part of a notorious ISIS training video revealed last week that showed ISIS recruits demonstrating their fortitude by being kicked in the groin.
According to the Pentagon, these camps were used to mold militants into terrifying weapons of destruction and chaos. “ISIS used the camps to train militants to conduct terror attacks using Ak-47s, machine guns, rocket-propelled grenade launchers and endurance training.”
The destruction of the training camps is the first time the US has attacked ISIS forces in Yemen with airstrikes. Previous attacks were directed at Al-Qaeda forces operating in the Arabian Peninsula, known as AQAP.
While continuing to fight ISIS, the US has also kept up the pressure on AQAP to prevent them from taking the territory and influence left behind by fleeing ISIS forces. This year alone has seen over 100 airstrikes targeting AQAP forces. This is nearly triple the number of airstrikes last year.
The airstrikes carried out by the US against both ISIS and Al-Qaeda have been a mixture of manned and unmanned attacks designed to cripple key areas and deal heavy casualties to the enemy.
The Pentagon stated that these attacks are designed to disrupt the enemy’s ability to operate in the area. “Strikes against ISIS targets disrupt and destroy militants’ attack-plotting efforts, leadership networks, and freedom of maneuver within the region,” the statement said.
ISIS forces within Yemen have been a major threat to the US and others around the world. The Pentagon noted, “ISIS has used the ungoverned spaces of Yemen to plot, direct, instigate, resource and recruit for attacks against America and its allies around the world. For years, Yemen has been a hub for terrorist recruiting, training and transit.”
This major blow to ISIS recruitment and training efforts in the region comes a day before US-backed forces took the city of Raqqa on Tuesday, as NBC News reported. Commander Lieutenant General Talal Silo, spokesman for the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), announced on Tuesday, “Raqqa is completely under control.”
The taking of Raqqa represents a months-long struggle SDF forces have waged as they literally fought for control one block at a time. The battle resulted in nearly 80 percent of the city being destroyed, according to estimates by the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.
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Though SDF forces are still rooting out hiding ISIS remnant fighters in the city, a process which is expected to take several days, the de facto capital of ISIS has fallen.
With the destruction of two key training camps and the fall of the capital of ISIS, the effort to eradicate their reign of terror is going well. It’s important, however, that US forces continue their efforts to stop Al-Qaeda from swooping in and taking over the territory. Otherwise, the world could see this old foe rise to power in the wake of a collapsing ISIS.