The Pentagon has revealed that the US-led airstrikes targeting ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria cost the United States more than $8.3 million per day.
Pentagon spokesman Commander Bill Urban said on Monday the air campaign, in which the US and its allies have flown 6,600 sorties, has cost the United States $580 million since it began more than ten weeks ago.
The Defense Department had previously put the average daily cost of the military offensive, recently dubbed Operation Inherent Resolve, at $7.6 million a day.
According to a Pentagon official, the higher figure reflects the increased pace of airstrikes and related flights. The official spoke on condition of anonymity.
According to the Pentagon, US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq since August 8. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.
Since late September, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate.
The US Central Command said in a statement on Thursday that US fighter jets have carried out the overwhelming majority of the airstrikes so far.
It added that out of 632 bombing raids, Washington’s allies conducted only 79 of the airstrikes.
It also said that 346 strikes have taken place in Iraq, while 286 were carried out in Syria.
The ISIL terrorists, some of whom were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large swaths of territory in Iraq and Syria.
US President Barack Obama has ruled out sending combat troops to Syria and Iraq, but some observers say the pledge may soon be broken