American-led airstrikes over Iraq and Syria will likely continue for many months, and cannot alone fix the long-term problem of eliminating Islamic State (IS) insurgents, the Pentagon press spokesman admitted yesterday. U.S. Defense Department spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said that there is no “willing, capable, effective partner on the ground inside Syria,” and the same is essentially true in northern Iraq, outside Kurdish-controlled areas, after the collapse of the Iraqi army there. Kirby called for “strategic patience,” claiming that the Iraqi security forces are “developing plans” to retake lost territory.
Despite an estimated $535 million overage in aviation insurance claims this year stemming from a recent spate of foreign airline losses–including two fatal crashes involving Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777s and a rebel attack at Libya’s Tripoli International Airport that damaged 20 airplanes–Corporate Aviation Insurance Group president Matt Drummelsmith doesn’t expect any effect on insurance premiums for U.S.-based aircraft operators.
Airstrikes against Islamic State terrorists in Iraq and Syria this week featured the combat debut of the Lockheed Martin F-22 Raptor stealth fighter, and of the Royal Saudi Air Force F-15S Strike Eagle. The air forces of Bahrain, France, Jordan, Qatar and the UAE also participated, and the Royal Australian Air Force is en route to the fight with F-18s and a Wedgetail AEW aircraft.
The Russian defense ministry has ordered seven more Su-30SM two-seat fighters worth 13 billion roubles, boosting the total to be acquired to 72. Of these, the Russian air force is getting 60 and naval aviation 12. An initial contract for 30 was placed in 2012. Some have reportedly been deployed to Crimea.
The U.S. Army terminated the second test flight of its Advanced Hypersonic Weapon (AHW) concept vehicle soon after launching it on August 25 after detecting a “flight anomaly,” the Pentagon said. The experimental glide vehicle and its three-stage rocket booster exploded and fell back on the Kodiak Launch Complex where it had lifted off, some 25 miles from Kodiak, Alaska.
Last week’s FAA notice to airmen (Notam) restricting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region, which includes all of Syria, is further evidence the agency is watching airspace over the world’s hotspots more closely since the downing of Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17 over eastern Ukraine in June.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice To Airmen (Notam) on Tuesday prohibiting U.S. operators from flying in the Damascus Flight Information Region (FIR), which covers all of Syria.
Nearly three years after the U.S. military withdrew from Iraq, Navy F/A-18 Hornets and Air Force F-15s, F-16s and unmanned MQ-1 Predators returned to the sky over the country this past week to stem the advance of Islamic extremists and support humanitarian airdrops.
The FAA on August 8 banned all U.S. airlines and commercial operators, as well as anyone flying with an FAA-issued pilot certificate, from operating within Iraqi airspace at any altitude in response to ground fighting between Iraqi security forces and militants. The ban remains in force until further notice.
The Federal Aviation Administration issued a new Notice to Airmen (Notam) on Friday prohibiting U.S. carriers from operating in the airspace above Iraq because of fighting there between Iraqi security forces and militants associated with the Islamic State. The sweeping prohibition came after the Obama administration began humanitarian air drops to relieve refugees in northern Iraq and warned of air strikes against the advancing militants.
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