The United States military has fired off more than 20,000 missiles and bombs since it launched an open-ended bombing campaign against the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group more than a year ago, according to the US Air Force.
The Air Force said in a statement on Friday that it is fast running out of munitions stockpiles and called for an increase in funding and production of weapons, CNN reported.
The Air Force is now “expending munitions faster than we can replenish them,” Air Force Chief of Staff Gen. Mark Welsh said.
“B-1s have dropped bombs in record numbers. F-15Es are in the fight because they are able to employ a wide range of weapons and do so with great flexibility. We need the funding in place to ensure we’re prepared for the long fight,” Welsh said in the statement. “This is a critical need.”
Daesh terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria.
US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since August 2014. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.
One US Air Force official said on Friday that the bombing campaign has left the Air Force with munitions stocks “below our desired objective.”
US Air Force needs more Hellfire missiles
The Air Force has made a request for additional funding for Hellfire missiles and is planning to boost weapons production to refill its depleting stocks, the unnamed official told CNN.
“The precision today’s wars requires, demands the right equipment and capability to achieve desired effects. We need to ensure the necessary funding is in place to not only execute today’s wars, but also tomorrow’s challenges,” the official added.
On September 30, Russia also began airstrikes against Daesh terrorists in Syria at the request of the government of President Bashar al-Assad. Since then, Moscow has carried out hundreds of airstrikes against terrorists in Syria, killing hundreds of militants.
Analysts say the Russian air campaign in Syria has exposed the “bankrupt” US policy towards the terrorist group.
“Russia has shown the US policy to be totally bankrupt, because it’s accomplished basically in one week what the US could not accomplish in one year,” Professor Dennis Etler, an American academic and researcher, said in an interview in October.