By Amaani Lyle
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, Nov. 20, 2014 – U.S. Central Command reported airstrikes Nov. 19 against Islamic state militant groups and the al-Qaida-affiliated Khorasan group in Syria, a move the Pentagon press secretary called a success here today.
Rear Adm. John Kirby addressed the Pentagon press corps after the Centcom release reported five air strikes executed near Kobani since November 17, including a Khorasan storage facility in northwest Syria.
Pentagon Views Khorasan as “Real Threat’
“We still assess the Khorasan group to be a very real threat to Western interest and to American interest –- that is why we continue to go after them where and when we can,” Kirby said. “The strike taken the other night against the weapons facility was a success.”
Kirby maintained that pressure from the U.S. military will persist against the terrorist group.
“We used a B-1 bomber and dropped several precision-guided munitions on this facility, and we know that the facility was destroyed,” Kirby said.
The admiral explained the decision to target that particular facility, known to have been restocked after the Khorasan group suffered losses elsewhere.
“They were moving equipment and materiel around because it had been at risk in other places,” Kirby said. “But that doesn’t mean we’re ready to call it ‘mission accomplished’ here by any stretch at all – we continue to believe this group is a threat.”
Kurdish Resupply Continues
Meanwhile in Iraq, Kirby said, arms and ammunition resupply to Kurdish forces continues in the ongoing fight against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. “There have been consistent efforts to continue to resupply Kurdish forces, peshmerga forces as necessary – largely done by the Iraqi government.”
Other nations, the admiral added, have also continued to provide the Kurds with arms and ammunition.
“[The Kurds have] been fighting very hard and very effectively,” Kirby said. “The more you expend, the more you’re going to need.”