‘We are prepared to change the rules of engagement in fight against ISIS’: US Defense Secretary warns of tougher stance in wake of Paris attacks

Friday, November 20, 2015
By Paul Martin

Members of Congress say current military policy is too restrictive
Rules of engagement are in place to minimize civilian casualties
At weekend, US airforce strike in Syria destroyed 116 ISIS fuel trucks
Previously they would not have done so as truck drivers were considered to be civilians

20 November 2015

The US may loosen its rules of engagement with ISIS following the attacks in Paris, Defense Secretary Ash Carter has revealed.

A change in military tactics would be welcomed by some members of Congress who have argued that America’s 14month-long campaign in Iraq and Syria has been too restrictive.

‘We’re prepared to change the rules of engagement. We’ve changed tactics, as we just did in the case of the fuel trucks,’ Carter said during an interview with MSNBC on Thursday.

The strike in question was in eastern Syria on Sunday, which destroyed 116 ISIS fuel trucks as part of the US-led coaltion’s effort to damage the Islamic State terror group’s infrastructure.

It marks a change in strategy as the US airforce was previously not permitted to kill a driver as it was seen as killing a civilian.

However, despite the targeted killing of the terrorist known as Jihadi John last week, the US was prevented from also striking a nearby ISIS headquarters.

This was because it is believed prisoners are being held in the basement of the building as human shields.

The MSNBC interviewers on the Morning Joe show asked Carter for his comments on US attacks generally – namely that despite their thousands of sorties, two-thirds of the planes came back without dropping ordnance.

The US Defense Secretary told them that the strict rules of engagement could be loosened thanks to ‘better and better intellligence’.

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