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Strike from the air: The first 100 days of the campaign against ISIL

By Peter Jennings, Mark Thomson, Patricia Dias, Tobias Feakin, Ken Gleiman, Daniel Nichola, Simone Roworth and Benjamin Schreer

This report is the first publication from a continuing, open-source study of the coalition campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). With Australian blood and treasure committed to the efforts of the coalition, it is important for ASPI to provide research and constructive commentary on the campaign. The report examines:

  • coalition strategy in Iraq and Syria
  • ISIL’s evolution and its military actions in 2014
  • developing the international coalition against ISIL
  • the first 100 days of airstrikes
  • the cost of operations against ISIL
  • the land force advise and assist mission
  • ISIL and international terrorism

The report is designed to be read with ASPI’s interactive map of coalition airstrikes, which details the date, location, target and effect of all strikes reported by US Central Command at the time of writing. It also shows coalition humanitarian and military airdrops.

The report’s airstrikes database (Excel file) collates all the strike information reported by US Central Command at the time of writing. So far as we can tell, this database is the most accurate open-source collation of information on coalition airstrikes in Iraq and Syria to date.

ASPI has also specially commissioned the following series of maps based on this research effort that illustrates the airstrike campaign and the contest for territory in Iraq and Syria:

ASPI’s research team will continue to study and assess the campaign against ISIL as long as the campaign affects the future of Australian strategic policy. We expect to publish future reports and analysis that will be timely and relevant to the strategic discourse in Australia.