SHAFAQNA (International Shia News Association) – The United States Department of Defense says the war against the ISIL terrorist group is costing the US an average of $7.6 million per day.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby told reporters on Tuesday that the military offensive, recently dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, has cost the US government more than $424 million in 10 weeks.
The ISIL terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, control large parts of Syria’s northern territory. ISIL sent its fighters into Iraq in June, quickly seizing large swaths of land straddling the border between the two countries.
According to the Pentagon, US warplanes have conducted more than 260 airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since mid-August. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.
Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies — Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Qatar, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates — have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
Earlier this month, the US Central Command said the Pentagon had spent $62 million on Navy airstrikes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
The Pentagon also plans to train and arm 5,000 militants in Syria as part of the Obama administration’s long-term strategy to confront ISIL.
Some analysts have long maintained that the United States and its allies have seized on the ISIL threat to target the Syrian government. The US and its allies have been accused of funding and arming the insurgency in Syria.
More than 191,000 people have been killed in over three years of fighting in the war-ravaged country, says the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), calling the figure a probable “underestimate of the real total number of people killed.