Into the Meat Grinder: US Drops Anti-ISIS ‘Propaganda’ Leaflets Over Syria

A U.S. warplane didn’t drop bombs, but instead, dropped leaflets to combat ISIS in Syria.

The leaflet depicts would-be ISIS recruits being fed into a meat grinder. The sign on the leaflet reads, “Daesh Recruiting Office.” Daesh is an Arabic and somewhat pejorative term for ISIS, known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

Another sign on the leaflet says, “Now serving 6001.”

The leaflet drop “is trying to set the stage for an internal uprising against ISIS,” said Nicholas Heras, who is an expert on ISIS at the Center for a New American Security, according to USA Today.

The U.S. used a specialized “bomb” with 60,000 leaflets. They were dropped by an Air Force F-15E Strike Eagle fighter, spokesman Colonel Tadd Sholtis said.

Meanwhile, on Thursday and at Iraq’s request, the U.S. began airstrikes in Tikrit on Wednesday in support of a stalled Iraqi ground offensive to retake the city from Islamic State fighters. The bombing marked a significant expansion of the U.S. military role in Iraq.

“These strikes are intended to destroy ISIL strongholds with precision, thereby saving innocent Iraqi lives while minimizing” unintended damage to civilian structures, Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, the commander of the U.S.-led campaign to defeat the Islamic State group, said in a written statement.

“This will further enable Iraqi forces under Iraqi command to maneuver and defeat ISIL in the vicinity of Tikrit,” Terry said, using an acronym for the Islamic State group.

Tikrit is deemed an important test of the ability of Iraq, with coalition support, to retake ground it ceded to the Islamic State last year. The U.S. initially did not provide air support in Tikrit because Baghdad pointedly chose instead to partner with Iran in a battle it predicted would yield a quick victory. In recent days, however, the Pentagon has called the Iraqi offensive “stalled.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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