Syria to be Years-Long Campaign

The campaign to systematically destroy the ISIS organization, accomplished mainly through air strikes and in coordination with Iraqi, Peshmerga, and coalition ground forces, will take years, said Joint Staff Operations Director Army Lt. Gen. William Mayville. Monday night’s strikes represent “the beginning of implementation” of a strategy to destroy ISIS’s support structure and forces in the field, said Mayville during a Tuesday press briefing at the Pentagon. “I would think of it in terms of years,” he said of the anticipated campaign, and later reiterated it will be a “multi-year effort.” Mayville also said he believes, “We’re appropriately sized for the task we’ve been given.” The campaign so far has been focused on “a disruption of [ISIS] forces that were enabling their strikes into Iraq.” Mayville said the Syrian government was made aware of the impending strikes through contacts at the UN, but he suggested there was no resistance offered by Syrian military forces. Coalition aircraft were detected by radar but it was “passive,” he said, suggesting no tracking or search radars were employed. At no time was there any effort to “coordinate” the strike with the Bashar Assad government, Mayville said.