US military campaign against Daesh costing nearly $12m daily


A Air Force F-16 Fighting Falcon prepares to refuel as it flies over Afghanistan in support of Operation Inherent Resolve against the Daesh Takfiri terrorists, December 29, 2015. (AFP photo)

The purported US campaign against the Daesh (ISIL)  terrorist group in Syria and Iraq has on average cost Washington $11.7 million per day ever since it started on August 8, 2014, a new Pentagon estimate shows.
The total cost of war on Daesh was $7.2 billion as of April 15, according to the report which was published on Thursday.
The daily cost stood at $9.1 million about a year ago, a few months before Russia started a similar campaign in Syria against Daesh upon a request from Damascus.
The US and a number of its allies, however, launched their campaign without any authorization from Damascus or the United Nations.
The Pentagon said in its report that as of May 10, the US-led coalition had carried out a total of 12,199 strikes, with 8,322 of them in Iraq and 3,877 in Syria.
However, the effectiveness of those strikes has been repeatedly questioned by Iraqi and Syrian officials.
The report came only a day after the US House of Representatives passed an amendment to the country’s 2017 military bill that would require the Pentagon to inform US taxpayers about the cost of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria.
The $610 billion legislation was approved in a 277-147 bipartisan vote on Wednesday and awaits the Senate’s confirmation before heading to President Barack Obama’s desk for signing.
The White House has threatened to veto the bill over the Republican attempts to shift $18 billion from the budget’s $59 billion war fund to cover expenses in the base military budget.
The Obama administration firmly opposes reducing the war fund, arguing that it would weaken the US military in conflict zones and turn it into a hollow force, with Defense Secretary Ashton Carter describing the strategy as a “road to nowhere.”
However, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Mac Thornberry said that the next administration would submit a war supplemental budget to Congress upon taking office in 2017 to make up for the difference.

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