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Cost Of Air Strikes In Iraq And Syria Rising

Since the war on ISIS began in June of this year, the Pentagon has spent $1.1 billion dollars on the U.S. military, allowing them to aggressively target terrorist operations in Iraq and Syria, The Hill reports.

The lion’s share of the budget has been allocated to airstrikes. The Navy has sent out $62 million dollars worth of airstrikes and Tomahawk cruise missiles, which have been fired from American warships stationed in the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf. No cost estimates were provided for Air Force expenditures.

It is unclear whether any leaders of ISIS have been killed in the strikes, but local fighters are encouraged that the U.S. is finally starting to directly hit ISIS targets, pushing ISIS further away from the Kurdish-dominated Syrian city of Kobani.

If Kobani were to fall, ISIS would control a full stretch of 62 miles between what it calls its capital in Raqqa, Syria, and Turkey. Even though some progress has been made, Kurdish fighters guarding the city have begun to flee for Turkey. Effective targeting is difficult, one military official said, since ISIS positions their forces near Kurdish troops and the Turkish border, meaning that a strike on ISIS means a simultaneous strike on other parties, as well.

In total, the military has carried out over 266 airstrikes in Iraq and more than 103 airstrikes in Syria. The total estimate of $1.1 billion relies on scaling up figures provided by the Pentagon. According to the Pentagon, the military is spending between $7 and $10 million a day, although this does not include costs from other participating nations. The U.S. and partner nations have flown more than 4,800 times over Iraq and Syria, an average of 88 per day. Weapons are usually dropped 6 times a day.

Not all military operations are exclusive to the skies. There are around 1,300 U.S. troops composed of regular personnel and advisory teams in Iraq working closely with Iraqi forces to repel ISIS.

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