US airstrikes destroy 14 Islamic State tanks near Palmyra

The US military said it destroyed 14 tanks “and other equipment” that was captured by the Islamic State after it overran the Syrian city of Palmyra and the nearby Tiyas Military Airfield. The Islamic State surged into¬†Palmyra and the surrounding areas last weekend after routing Syrian forces there.

“The attacks occurred during daylight hours from late morning to early evening on Thursday,” US Central Command, or CENTCOM, noted in a press release. “In addition to the 14 tanks, three artillery systems, two ISIL-held buildings, two tactical vehicles, and an air defense artillery system were also destroyed in the strike. The equipment was destroyed in the vicinity of the airfield, northeast of the city along a highway.”

According to CENTCOM, 16 aircraft were involved in the attempt to deny the Islamic State military hardware gained after it seized Tiras.

The Islamic State claimed it seized 44 tanks, 7 BMPs, 7 130mm cannons, 14 23mm cannons, several anti-armor rocket launchers, dozens of anti-armor rockets, various automatic weapons, military vehicles, weapons and ammunition during the fighting in and around Palmyra. However, it is difficult to confirm the Islamic State’s claim. [See Threat Matrix report, Jihadis celebrate capture of Russian base in Palmyra, Syria.

The US launched another massive airstrike near Palmyra as the Islamic State overran the city last weekend. On Dec. 8, Coalition aircraft reportedly destroyed 168 Islamic State oil tankers as they amassed to take oil from nearby oilfields. [See FDD’s Long War Journal reports, Islamic State claims full control of Palmyra, Syria and Video: US destroys Islamic State oil tanker trucks in Syria.]

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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  • James says:

    Congrats Russia you finally shamed the US into bombing ISIS attacking the SAA without hitting Syrian troops too. Gen Townsend knows Mad Dog Mattis would ask him why he trolled the Russians about the undermanned Syrians losing the Palmyra but couldn’t be bothered to bomb a several thousand man concentration of Daeshbags.

  • den says:

    ThAt leaves somewhere near thirty tanks, plus or minus, plus some other weapons. One would think it hard to move any of it without being seen by someone. Probably another stand and fight scene as going back to racca after failure, like in fallujah, could be fatal as well.


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