ABOARD THE USS GEORGE H.W. BUSH (AP) – The crowded skies over Islamic State-held territory have complicated U.S.-led airstrikes targeting the extremists, though military planners are working to keep fliers safe, an American pilot involved in the bombing campaign has told The Associated Press.
Lt. Cmdr. William Vuillet also described the efforts American forces use to try to minimize civilian casualties from strikes on major cities like Mosul, where allied forces are trying to sweep the remaining militants out of the western half of Iraq’s second-largest city.
Vuillet said he believes coalition forces will “eradicate” the extremist group responsible for mass killings, beheadings and other atrocities targeting civilians across the Middle East and around the world.
In this Wednesday, March 22, 2017 photograph, Lt. Cmdr. William Vuillet speaks to The Associated Press on board the USS George H.W. Bush as it travels through the Persian Gulf. The carrier soon will begin launching airstrikes targeting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria. Vuillet spoke to the AP about the challenges of launching those strikes. (AP Photo/Jon