As ISIS offensive against Deir ez-Zor unfolds US is busy elsewhere, bombing oil stills and wellheads
Monday an ISIS offensive launched two days earlier managed to cut the besieged Syrian enclave around the eastern desert city of Deir ez-Zor in two. This leaves 120,000 people the closest they have ever been to falling into ISIS hands. As heavy fighting continues the Russian and Syrian air forces are scrambling to help the city.
Meanwhile where are the Americans who just recently claimed they are the only ones fighting ISIS at all?
Well they are busy bombing ISIS, including around Deir ez-Zor:
- Near Ar Raqqah, 13 strikes engaged five ISIL tactical units; destroyed four fighting positions, three VBIEDs, three tactical vehicles, a command and control node, a tunnel, an oil tanker truck, a front-end loader; and damaged three supply routes.
- Near Dayr Ar Zawr, two strikes destroyed three oil wellheads.
- Near Abu Kamal, one strike destroyed an oil well head.
- Near Ar Raqqah, 13 strikes engaged seven ISIL tactical units; destroyed a bunker, an artillery system, five fighting positions, two supply caches, a vehicle, and 25 pieces of oil refinement equipment; and damaged five supply routes.
- Near Dayr Az Zayr, two strikes destroyed 12 trucks and six oil refinement stills.
- Near Abu Kamal, one strike destroyed an oil pump jack.
- Near Ar Raqqah, eight strikes engaged six ISIL tactical units; destroyed seven fighting positions, a heavy machine gun, a vehicle, and a bridge; suppressed a heavy machine gun; and damaged a supply route.
- Near Tabaqah Dam, four strikes engaged four ISIL tactical units, destroyed two fighting positions, and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.
- Near Al Bab, two strikes destroyed a tactical vehicle and an excavator.
- Near Ar Raqqah, nine strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units; destroyed three fighting positions, an artillery system, a supply cache, a VBIED, a front-end loader, a tactical vehicle, and an ISIL weapons storage facility; and damaged a supply route.
- Near Dayr Az Zayr, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL checkpoint.
- Near Abu Kamal, two strikes destroyed two oil well heads, an oil tanker truck, and four pieces of oil support equipment.
- Near Al Bab, one strike engaged an ISIL tactical unit.
- Near Ar Raqqah, 10 strikes engaged three ISIL tactical units; destroyed a VBIED, a checkpoint, a command and control node; damaged two supply routes; and suppressed an ISIL tactical unit.
- Near Ayn Isa, two strikes engaged an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed a fighting position and supply cache.
- Near Dayr Az Zawr, two strikes destroyed eight oil stills, an oil well head and a fuel truck.
In other words at the moment when there is a huge battle ongoing the US Air Force is busy bombing oil stills and fuel trucks.
In the first five days of the battle US struck targets in Deir ez-Zor province on four of those days. On three of those days it struck ISIS infrastructure irrelevant to the immediate fate of the ISIS offensive against the besieged city.
In those five days only one strike "engaged an ISIL tactical unit" but we have no way of knowing if this was anywhere near the city itself. In fact that the strike destroyed an ISIS checkpoint implies it did not take place on the immediate front lines.
So far the trend continues. US military will earnestly fight ISIS -- but only where doing so won't help the Syrian army.
As Stalin in 1944 stood by watching the Polish resistance be slaughtered by Nazis in Warsaw so the US is so far standing by watching as ISIS tightens its stranglehold around 120,000 people.