Tag: centcom

US Admits Use of Depleted Uranium in Syria

The US has finally confirmed that it has fired DU ammunition Syria, after it had earlier stated that the weapons would not be used. US Central Command (CENTCOM) has acknowledged that DU was fired on two dates – the 18 and 23 November 2015. Between the strikes on the two dates, 5,100 rounds of 30mm DU ammunition were used by A-10 Thunderbolt II aircraft. This equates to 1,524kg of DU. CENTCOM said that the ammunition was selected because of the “nature of the targets”.
The news comes as governments are debating a UN General Assembly resolutionon DU weapons in New York. And, although DU use has only been admitted on two dates, ICBUW and PAX are concerned that this disclosure could be the sign that DU has, or will, be used more widely in the conflict.

In March 2015, and following the deployment of A-10s to the conflict, the US hadconfirmed to journalists that the aircraft would not be armed with DU, stating: “U.S. and Coalition aircraft have not been and will not be using depleted uranium munitions in Iraq or Syria during Operation Inherent Resolve.” Justifying the decision, CENTCOM public affairs explained that: “The ammunition is developed to destroy tanks on a conventional battlefield; Daesh does not possess large numbers of tanks.”

ISIS after Orlando: A Multiform War

The massacre in Florida and latest killings in France are connected to the United States-led assault on the self-declared caliphate.

The carnage in the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida on 12 June 2016 is one of the very worst of the so-called ‘lone wolf’ assaults. Though it was certainly an anti-LGBT attack, it is still not clear how much it was inspired by ISIS. That connection is evident in the case of the killing of a police commander and his partner in front of their 3-year-old son, near Paris on 13 June, which has so affected opinion in France.

What is becoming apparent is that ISIS is now fully engaged in encouraging if not instigating attacks across north Africa and western Europe, sometimes extending to north America. This wide-ranging effort comes at a time when the movement is under serious pressure in Iraq and Libya. Some analysts are also concerned with developments only indirectly related to ISIS and al-Qaida. These include an increase in pro-ISIS support in Kosovo and the southern Philippines, the onset of more frequent attacks in Bangladesh and the deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan.