April 12, 2016:
One of the more recent targets for the U.S. led coalition airstrikes has been the University of Mosul in northern Iraq. It was long known that ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) was using university facilities for training technical personnel, especially computer and communications specialists and bomb builders. Research was also being done on chemical weapons and how to build “dirty bombs” that used radioactive material.
Eventually enough information got out (usually via people fleeing the city) to pinpoint what university facilities were being used to research new bomb building methods and ways to make explosives out of available materials. Some of the new tech developed began showing up in Europe, brought back by ISIL members who had been trained at the University of Mosul facilities. As a result of this parts of the university have been bombed. In part this was possible because ISIL had completely taken over parts of the university, only allowing ISIL personnel in.
Previously coalition aircraft had bombed factories where it was known that ISIL was building bombs and weapons. This included workshops for fitting cars and trucks with explosives that were hidden so the vehicles could get past checkpoints and to targets in other parts of Iraq or Syria. The suicide bombers got behind the wheel only when the vehicle was close to the target as many of suicide bomb volunteers didn’t have the driving skills to move trucks or some models of car far on their own.
These airstrikes got little media attention because ISIL, fearful of informers or sabotage, only allowed trusted ISIL members in. Thus the only casualties from their smart bomb or guided missile attacks were the deadly weapons being built or repaired there and the people working on them.