Newly confirmed Secretary of Defense James Mattis reportedly spent Jan. 21, his first day in office, overseeing 31 military strikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria.
“Attack, bomber, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 25 strikes consisting of 39 engagements,” the Defense Department said in a statement regarding the strikes in Syria.
The bombings in Syria occurred near Bab, Dayr Az Zawr and Raqqa, according to The Washington Free Beacon. Raqqa, which is ISIS’s de facto capital, was hit by a total of 22 strikes.
Among the targets of the bombings were ISIS tactical units, tunnels, headquarters, fighting positions, vehicles and oil well heads.
Six more strikes, consisting of 16 engagements, took place in Iraq, according to the Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, a U.S.-led operation which is fighting ISIS. The strikes in Iraq targeted ISIS near Rutbah, Baiji, Mosul, Kisik and Tal Afar. Tactical units, weapons and vehicles were all hit during the strikes.
According to the Independent Journal Review, Mattis sent a letter to employees of the Department of Defense in which he explained how he plans to lead the Pentagon.
“Every action we take will be designed to ensure our military is ready to fight today and in the future,” Mattis wrote in the letter. “Recognizing that no nation is secure without friends, we will work with the State Department to strengthen our alliances. Further, we are devoted to gaining full value from every taxpayer dollar spent on defense, thereby earning the trust of Congress and the American people.”
Sources: Independent Journal Review, Washington Free Beacon / Photo Credit: United States Department of Defense via Wikimedia Commons