published Friday, August 29th, 2014

Pentagon: Iraq operations cost $560 million so far

This image provided by the U.S. Defense Department shows pallets of bottled water are loaded aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in preparation for a humanitarian airdrop over Iraq on Aug. 8, 2014. Airmen with the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron airdropped 40 bundles of water for displaced citizens in the vicinity of Sinjar, Iraq.
This image provided by the U.S. Defense Department shows pallets of bottled water are loaded aboard a U.S. Air Force C-17 Globemaster III aircraft in preparation for a humanitarian airdrop over Iraq on Aug. 8, 2014. Airmen with the 816th Expeditionary Airlift Squadron airdropped 40 bundles of water for displaced citizens in the vicinity of Sinjar, Iraq.
Photo by Associated Press /Chattanooga Times Free Press.

WASHINGTON — U.S. military operations in Iraq, including airstrikes and surveillance flights, have cost about $560 million since mid-June, the Pentagon said Friday.

Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, said the average daily cost has been $7.5 million. He said it began at a much lower rate in June and escalated after the airstrikes in northern Iraq began this month.

After he spoke, the U.S. Central Command announced four additional airstrikes, bringing the total since they began on Aug. 8 to 110. Central Command said Friday's missions by U.S. fighter and attack aircraft destroyed four armed vehicles and three support vehicles in the vicinity of the Mosul Dam. One armed vehicle was damaged, it said without providing more details.

Asked why U.S. warplanes are still pounding the Mosul Dam area, long after U.S. officials said local Kurdish and Iraqi forces had regained control from the Islamic State forces, Kirby said, "Because ISIL keeps wanting to take it back," using an acronym for the group.

"They keep threatening the dam and the facility. And as long as they pose a threat to that facility, we are going to continue to help Iraqi security forces preserve their ownership of it," he added.

The Pentagon also has security forces in Baghdad and Irbil to protect American personnel and facilities, and teams of U.S. troops are in those two cities to coordinate with Iraqi and Kurdish forces and to assess the strengths and tactics of Islamic State forces.

Kirby said the costs are being paid from the Pentagon's 2014 overseas contingency fund. Top Pentagon officials have said they have adequate funds for the operation through September but that requests to Congress for the next budget year might have to be reconsidered if the Iraq operations intensify further.

The White House also is considering whether to extend the military campaign to include Islamic State targets inside Syria, but President Barack Obama said Thursday there was no immediate strategy to do that and played down expectations that it would happen immediately.

about Associated Press...

The Associated Press

Other National Articles

videos »         

photos »         

e-edition »

advertisement
advertisement

Find a Business

400 East 11th St., Chattanooga, TN 37403
General Information (423) 756-6900
Copyright, Permissions, Terms & Conditions, Privacy Policy, Ethics policy - Copyright ©2014, Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc. All rights reserved.
This document may not be reprinted without the express written permission of Chattanooga Publishing Company, Inc.