Since 2014, when the Islamic State (ISIS) began its campaign of terror in earnest, the U.S. military, its allies, and partners have conducted almost an astounding 35,000 airstrikes against the terrorist organization.
More specifically, from August 2014 to September 2020, the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) launched 34,917 airstrikes, according to data obtained by the Military Times. In the nearly two months that have elapsed since the data was reported, it’s reasonable to assume that the airstrikes have crossed the 35,000 mark.
The CJTF-OIR, which at times has included more than 30 nations, didn’t disclose the kind of aircraft nor the type of ordnance used. From open sources, we know that the airstrikes have predominantly been carried out by an assortment of aircraft, including F-15E Strike Eagles, F/A-18 Super Hornets, F-22 Raptors, F-35 Lightning IIs (both the Air Force’s A variant and the Marine Corps’ B variant), F-16 Fighting Falcons, Tornado GR4s, Rafales, Mirage 2000s, Super Etendards, Eurofighters, A-10 Warthogs, B-1 Lancers, B-52 Stratorfortresses, and MQ-9 Reaper drones.
In 2014 and 2015, ISIS conducted a blitzkrieg campaign that even threatened Baghdad. ISIS had more than 40,000 fighters and controlled almost 43 thousand square miles. Big and strategic cities that U.S. and Coalition forces had fought so hard for during the insurgency were falling one after the other. ISIS fighters captured Raqqa, Mosul, Fallujah, and Ramadi, among other smaller hubs.
As a result, by January 2015, the U.S. military had already conducted 16,000 airstrikes in an attempt to stem ISIS’s advance. Then, utilizing the same recipe that the U.S. military had used in the initial days of the war in Afghanistan, the U.S.-led coalition began pushing ISIS back. Special operations troops guiding airpower and partnering with local forces defeated ISIS.