WASHINGTON – The Pentagon has spent as much as $1.1 billion on U.S. military operations against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria since the mission began in mid-June, including more than $62 million alone in Navy airstrikes and Tomahawk cruise missiles.
U.S. Central Command, in data released Monday, said the Navy has dropped roughly 185 munitions, including 47 cruise missiles launched from ships in the region. Central Command said Air Force fighter jets have far exceeded those numbers, launching close to 1,000 munitions.
The bulk of the Navy costs were for the 47 Tomahawk cruise missiles fired by American warships in the Persian Gulf and the Red Sea that targeted the Khorasan Group, an al-Qaida cell, in eight locations west of the city of Aleppo in Syria. The group was said to be plotting imminent attacks on American and Western interests, and it was one of the key targets two weeks ago when the U.S. first began airstrikes into Syria.
There are currently more than 1,300 U.S. troops in Iraq, including security personnel, staff at two joint operations centers in Baghdad and Irbil, and advisory teams that are working with Iraqi brigades and headquarters units.
A coalition of about 40 nations is participating in the U.S.-led operations, including several Arab nations that are conducting airstrikes in Syria. Several European nations are participating in the airstrikes in Iraq, but not in Syria.
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