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Cost Of Anti-ISIS Campaign Passes $2.4 Billion

Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in their northern Syrian stronghold, Raqqa. AP/Raqqa Media Center
Fighters from the Islamic State group parade in their northern Syrian stronghold, Raqqa. AP/Raqqa Media Center

The cost of the U.S. campaign against ISIS in Iraq and Syria has passed $2.4 billion since President Obama authorized sending U.S. forces to the region last June, the Pentagon said Thursday.

Currently, the U.S. has 2,875 troops in Iraq, and U.S. warplanes have conducted a total of 2,893 airstrikes that have hit 5,314 targets since bombing began last Aug. 8, the Pentagon said Thursday.

The cost of the campaign through March 12 was $1.83 billion, said Army Col. Steve Warren, a Pentagon spokesman. He also noted that the daily costs had escalated significantly to about $8.5 million daily, up from about $1 million daily last summer. The daily costs through March 19 would put the total at more than $2.4 billion.

The Pentagon statistics on Operation Inherent Resolve against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) showed that the airstrikes had destroyed 73 tanks, 282 Humvees, 85 armored personnel carriers, 47 artillery pieces and more than 1,000 technical and miscellaneous vehicles.

At least 58 boats were also destroyed. ISIS is known to use small boats to ferry supplies on the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.

The Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve has put a premium on hitting ISIS infrastructure, and the list showed that the airstrikes had destroyed nearly 1,500 buildings used by the terror group in Iraq and Syria for communications, supplies, logistics and command and control.

-- Richard Sisk can be reached at Richard.Sisk@monster.com.

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