Operation Inherent Resolve, the US-led air campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, continued throughout August, as strikes hit ISIS infrastructure and fighting positions in northern Iraq. The strikes come as the effort to retake Mosul, currently the largest city held by ISIS, continues apace.
In the GIF below, airstrikes level what the US government referred to as a vehicle-borne improvised-explosive-device factory near Mosul on August 25. The footage was released nearly three weeks after another video showed US-led strikes hitting an ISIS fighting position about 30 miles south of Mosul.
The US-led coalition has hit ISIS targets from the air for much of the last two months, as Iraqi Security Forces work on the ground to retake ISIS-held territory.
In Baghdad, however, political wrangling and accusations of corruption in the Iraqi parliament led to Defense Minister Khaled al-Obeidi — who oversaw many of the Iraqi military's recent successes against the terrorist group — being forced out by a no-confidence vote on August 25.
Ministry of Defense spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool, speaking from the new frontline some 40 miles from Mosul, said "the fighters and officers are frustrated that the defense minister was sacked in this way," according to Haaretz. But, Rasool added, "despite the frustration we will continue to fight and expel Daesh."
Despite those tensions, the US military said on Tuesday that Iraqi forces were on track to retake Mosul by the end of this year.
"It's the prime minister's objective to have that done by the end of the year," said Gen. Joseph Votel, who oversees US forces in the Middle East, according to Reuters. "My assessment is that we can meet the ... prime minister's objectives, if that's what he chooses to do."