U.S. Air Force fighter jets supported a recent attack against ISIS targets in the Makmour mountains of Iraq, a U.S. military spokesman told Military Times Wednesday morning.
“Mustafa Al-Kadhimi, Prime Minister of Iraq and CINC, approved the use of Coalition air power to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh in the Makhmour Mountains,” said Army Col. Wayne Marotto, spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, in a statement to Military Times. “This is some tough terrain and Daesh was hiding out in caves and tunnels. In support of the ISF, the US Air Force F-15E and F-16 were part of the Coalition air power used against Daesh to eliminate Daesh remnants.”
In a tweet Wednesday morning, Marotto said that in coordination with the Iraqi Counter Terror Service, the Iraqi Security Forces and Peshmerga conducted Operation Ready Lion in the Makhmour mountains, located in the Kurdish region of Iraq.
Coalition jets as well as Iraqi air force and army aviation units supported the ground operations with 312 airstrikes that destroyed 120 hideouts and positions and killed 27 “terrorists,” Marotto tweeted. “Together, we are a lethal combination to #DefeatDaesh.”
Yehia Rasool, spokesman for the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, wrote that the operation was launched March 9 in the Makhmour mountain range, southeast of Mosul, “targeting the remnants” of ISIS.
Marotto said he did not have details about when the U.S. airstrikes took place, but that the F-15E Strike Eagles and F-16 Fighting Falcons conducted multiple airstrikes.
Howard Altman is an award-winning editor and reporter who was previously the military reporter for the Tampa Bay Times and before that the Tampa Tribune, where he covered USCENTCOM, USSOCOM and SOF writ large among many other topics.