15feb15 Update — Bahrain has also now sent combat aircraft (most likely F-16s) to Jordan to participate in attacks against ISIS, according to Reuters. The Bahrani Royal Air Force (BRAF) joins the UAEAF on the front lines of the air campaign.
12feb15 Update — Two articles in the Air Force Times give information on how the stealthy F-22 Raptor, the premier US air superiority fighter, is being employed. Reportedly, US F-22s (and F-16CJs) escorted Jordanian F-16s during their recent attacks on ISIS in Syria and Iraq.
This indicates Jordanian strikes were fully coordinated with the coalition. Additionally, the USAF says F-22s are part of the “standard strike package” in Operation Inherent Resolve.
The second article talks specifically about the F-22s combat record so far in the operation. It mentions the Raptor’s ability to flex between missions, and to perform ‘mission control’ for other aircraft, presumably through its advanced sensors. According to USAF General Hawk Carlisle, When you have F-22s in a package, every single airplane in that package is better because the F-22s are there.
9feb15 Update — There are several reports of a press briefing Jordan held yesterday, releasing info about their recent air attacks on ISIS, and the intent behind them. According to Maj. General Jabour of the Royal Jordanian Air Force, one of the main objectives of the Jordanian air effort is to kill Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi and other ISIS leaders. Other objectives include stopping the group’s oil trade, and destruction of command centers, garrisons & training areas.
General Jabour reiterated: This is not the end but the beginning. . . We will continue to fight this war until we have achieved its goal, wiping ISIS from the face of the earth.
The Washington Post has a good recap, read it here.
8feb15 Update — Jordan says it has conducted 56 airstrikes against ISIS in 3 days.
6feb15 Update — ISIS claims American female hostage was killed by Jordanian airstrikes. Claim being investigated. Jordanian aircraft hit ISIS targets for second day, this time in Iraq, with top-cover by USAF F-22s.
5feb15 — In response to the horrendous killing of F-16 pilot Moaz al-Kasasbeh, The Kingdom of Jordan has sworn to eliminate ISIS. Consequently, on 5 Feb 2015 the Jordanian Air Force (as part of the allied coalition) executed a series of airstrikes on ISIS positions in northern Syria.
The strikes apparently involved F-16s hitting ISIS weapons and ammunition depots and training centers in or near the city of Hasakah, and possibly in Raqaa. Although there were initial reports that King Abdullah himself flew one of the aircraft, that turned out to be untrue.
Jordan also released this video on YouTube, showing preparations for the mission, F-16s taking off, and actual footage of munitions impacts.
It will be very interesting to see how Jordan’s own air war against ISIS fits in with the coalition. Will it be an integrated part of the effort, or will they push more aggressively than the US and other allies? Will an accelerated “revenge campaign” by Jordan help or hurt Operation Inherent Resolve?