Russia’s intervention in Syria has slowed coalition air operations in Syria, though ISIS has lost 20 percent of the ground it once held, the UK Ministry of Defense said Tuesday during a Twitter question-and-answer session. The comments contradict those by US officials who maintain air operations continue undeterred despite Russian involvement in the country. The ministry also said “Russia has a responsibility to end the targeting of civilians” by the regime of Syrian President Bashar Assad, though “it has not done this.” The UK defense ministry requested £204 million (about $298 million) in February for continued operations in Iraq and Syria, which represents a relatively small amount of the total $7.4 billion price tag for Operation Inherent Resolve. The UK has also, to date, trained more than 3,300 Peshmerga fighters and more than 11,000 Iraqi Security Forces, the ministry said.
In a nighttime ceremony contrived to continue concealment of many of its features, the new B-21 bomber rolled out of Northrop Grumman's Palmdale, Calif. plant Dec. 2. Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said the aircraft's advanced technology represents "deterrence, the American way."