THE US is hitting so many IS targets in Iraq and Syria that it is running out of bombs – and that could affect its ability to wage war in North Korea, warns a senior US admiral.
The Express reports,
It comes as dictator Kim Jong-un defied international pressure to test-fire another missile yesterday, just hours after US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson warned that failure to curb his nuclear and ballistic missile programmes could lead to “catastrophic consequences”.
Afghan Caves after 11-ton Non-Nuclear Bomb, GBU-43 MOAB US Military Strike.
While the US is pushing for harsher sanctions against the police state, President Trump warned a “major, major conflict” was possible as tensions mount.
If he sanctions a regime change, however, it would mean a large-scale war in which the US and South Korea would “throw everything it had”, experts warned last night.
The US supercarrier Carl Vinson arrived in waters near the Korean peninsula yesterday, where it began exercises with the South Korean navy. US Special Forces assisted South Korean counterparts to deal with the threat of mines amid concerns that Kim could flood the peninsula with explosive traps. But the US bombing campaign in Iraq and Syria has left the US’s Pacific Command with a dangerous shortage of ordinance, said its commander Admiral Harris.
Such is the demand that he has had to loan large stockpiles of small diameter bombs and air-to-air Sidewinder missiles to Central Command, which oversees the air strike campaigns in Iraq, Syria, and Afghanistan.
American forces accounted for 79 per cent of the 24,150 strikes carried out against IS targets so far this year. Each strike involves multiple bombs, with 32,000 dropped in one month alone. It is a level that will be difficult to sustain if the US wants to honour commitments elsewhere. Of particular concern is the lack of precision-guided munitions which, Admiral Harris told Congress, are “absolutely critical to what we’re trying to do, not only against North Korea, but also in the fights in the Middle East. We need more”
Even before the latest North Korean standoff, US Air Force chief General Mark Welsh warned: “We’re expending munitions faster than we can replenish them. We need the funding in place to ensure we’re prepared for the long fight. This is a critical need.”
If war does break out with Pyongyang, the US and South Korea will have to hit hard and fast to minimize the risk to Seoul from North Korean artillery bombardments, warned Justin Bronk, combat air specialist for the Royal United Services Institute think tank.
Read more at Express