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Here’s the first military action the U.S. took after Trump’s inauguration

Donald Trump now commands the U.S. military.


David Covucci


Published Jan 23, 2017   Updated May 25, 2021, 3:54 am CDT

On Friday, Jan. 20, Donald Trump took the reigns of the U.S. military as commander-in-chief. That same day, the Senate voted to confirm General James Mattis as Secretary of Defense. 

This weekend, the first military action of the new administration occurred. 

According to a Defense Department release, U.S. and coalition forces conducted 31 strikes in Iraq and Syria against the Islamic State as part of Operation Inherent Resolve

In Syria, U.S. and coalition forces hit 25 targets, including ISIS “tactical units” near Raqqa and oil wells near Dayr Az Zawr. Nine strikes in Iraq targeted tactical units, as well as a bomb-making factory in the northern and western parts of the country. 

Casualty figures were not disclosed.

A Pentagon spokesman would not confirm whether Trump was briefed prior to the strikes, saying that planned “military operations do not stop” when administrations change. 

White House officials did not respond to requests for comment.

It is not clear whether these strikes were in the works prior to the inauguration. In the last week of his presidency, Barack Obama stepped up strikes against the Islamic State, including action on Thursday that killed 100. 

Update 10:15am CT 1/23/2016: Pentagon spokesperson Eric Pahon issued this statement to the Daily Dot regarding the strikes. 

“I’m not going to go in to detail about what clearances / requirements our strikes go through for approval.”

“What I can tell you is that the Coalition remains dedicated to the counter-ISIL fight, and we will strike ISIL wherever they are found.  The enemy should not mistaken [sic] this period of transition as a period of rest.  The coalition will continue to work with our partners to maximize counter-ISIL operations on as many fronts as possible, to ensure the military defeat of ISIL provides stability to the region and security to our homeland.”

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*First Published: Jan 23, 2017, 10:19 am CST