Arab, European jets carry out 10 percent of IS strikes: US

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WASHINGTON: Arab and other allied countries have carried out about 10 percent of the nearly 2,000 air raids against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria since early August, US defense officials said.

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US warplanes have conducted 1,768 air strikes since August 8, while other coalition aircraft have carried about 195 air raids against the IS jihadists, defense officials told Agence France-Presse, citing a tally through Sunday.

The numbers, which for the first time shed light on the participation of Arab coalition partners, reflect the dominant role of the US military in the air campaign.

But Pentagon officials have insisted the role for Arab and European partners is likely to grow over time.

The Arab states involved in the operation in Syria — Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates — have been reluctant to divulge details of their participation in the air strikes.

But for Washington and the West, the presence of the Arab countries has carried crucial symbolism in the fight against the Sunni extremists of the Islamic State group.

France, Belgium, Britain, Denmark, the Netherlands and Australia have committed aircraft for the effort in Iraq, though their presence has been on a small scale so far.

AFP

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