Photo credit: Reuters / Adrees Latif
American jets hit targets in Syria on Tuesday in the US-led fight against Islamic State. Although the US has not declared war since 1942, this is the seventh country that Barack Obama, the holder of the Nobel Peace Prize, has bombed in as many years.
Syria has become the latest country to have been openly targeted by the US, with Washington predictably not seeking the approval of Syrian President Bashar Assad.
Pictures showing an ISIL Command and Control Center in Syria before (L) and after it was struck by bombs dropped by a U.S. F-22 fighter jet are seen in handouts released by the U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) September 23, 2014. (Reuters / US Department of Defense / Handout)
The US and NATO started a bombing campaign in the north of the country on Tuesday against Islamic State militants, who have taken over parts of the north and east of the country. The death toll from Tuesday’s campaign was put at 120, though this figure could rise, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights, who also said that eight civilians had lost their lives.
When the Pentagon says that the conflict in Syria may take years to resolve, it is no joke – just take a look at the number of Washington’s “military engagements” during Obama’s administration.
Afghanistan (2001-present day)
It was only a matter of time following the September 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on US soil that Afghanistan would become the first country America would bomb in the 21st century, after the Taliban refused to hand over Al-Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.
Starting with the country’s largest cities – Kabul, Kandahar and Jalalabad, the US and its allies have become involved in a protracted conflict, which has seen tens of thousands of casualties inflicted. Although there has been a large-scale troop withdrawal, which started in June 2011 and will finish by the end of 2014, as the US looks to pass the baton of policing and providing security in Afghanistan to local forces. Yet airstrikes are still taking place.
The US has spent more than $100 billion on aid in Afghanistan since 2001 to train and equip the country’s security forces and upgrade its infrastructure, while 2,200 American troops have been killed in Afghanistan since 2001, while around 20,000 have been wounded, according to AP.
US bombing campaigns have been a contentious issue with Afghanistan’s leadership, which has said that too manycivilians have died as a result of American bombing missions. Just last week, American missiles killed 11 civilians in the east of the country.
“If America and Pakistan really want it, peace will come to Afghanistan,” the country’s outgoing president, Hamid Karzai, said on September 23 as he was stepping down. “War in Afghanistan is based on the aims of foreigners. The war in Afghanistan is to the benefit of foreigners. But Afghans on both sides are the sacrificial lambs and victims of this war.”
Read more about the other five countries
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