Donald Trump’s presidency is off to a productive start, with Trump already signing executive orders to halt all pending and new regulations, forcing a renegotiation of NAFTA, a hiring freeze for the Federal government, and posting a notice that the US would be withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership.
And he wasn’t the only one. General “Mad Dog” Mattis was confirmed as Secretary for the Department of Defense on Friday, and he had a productive first day on the job, particularly when it came to a Trump campaign promise to “bomb the s—” out of ISIS.
Newly minted Secretary of Defense James Mattis celebrated his first full day at the Pentagon by overseeing 31 strikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. Mattis entered the Pentagon Saturday with a smile for his first full day of work, and for good reason, considering the significant bombardment ISIS forces received. A variety of fighters, bombers and remotely piloted aircraft engaged in the bombing run, which saw 25 strikes in Syria and six in Iraq. In Syria, two strikes destroyed ISIS units and artillery near the town of Bab. ISIS forces in Raqqa, the terrorist group’s de facto capital, took a heavy beating, as 22 strikes destroyed 12 tactical units, nine fighting positions, two underground improvised explosive bomb factories and an ISIS headquarters. The final strike targeted two ISIS oil wells in Deir ez Zour.
For some context, the U.S. and allies have averaged around seven airstrikes on Syria a day since they first began in September of 2014. On his first day, Mattis quadrupled that average.
Trump has said in the past that he wants to see ISIS wiped off the face of the Earth within 30 days of his presidency. Sure, that’s a bit ambitious– but it’s clear that Mattis is already ramping up the offensive against ISIS in a way that would never happen under Obama. No longer do we have to worry about Obama blocking 75 percent of airstrikes against ISIS (yes – he really did that).
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