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The U.S.-led coalition has increased the number of bombs dropped on the Islamic State by about 50% this year, reflecting the progress U.S.-backed ground forces have had in pushing militants out of key strongholds in Iraq and Syria.
A total of 14,192 rockets, bombs and other munitions were dropped in the first four months of this year, up from 9,442 during the same period in 2016, according to the latest monthly statistics from U.S. Air Forces Central Command.
The increase comes as President Trump has given battlefield commanders more authority to approve airstrikes and raids, which has quickened response times. “He delegated authority to the right level to aggressively and in a timely manner move against enemy vulnerabilities,” Defense Secretary Jim Mattis said last week.
Under former president Barack Obama, many of those decisions were reserved for the military's highest levels.