On the evening of October 26, 2019, in Syria's Idlib Province, a US special operations raid occurred, in which Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi died at his own hands. He was the founder and leader of the Islamic State militant group. The Pentagon now announced
that multiple AGM-158B Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missiles had been used to destroy the Islamic State group leader’s hideout in Syria following the raid that resulted in his death. In addition to JASSMs
, US Forces used guided bombs, Hellfire missiles, miniguns, and other small-arms fire on the compound. News agencies published photographs of the site taken after the raid that show piles of rubble, with no free-standing buildings left. The incident marked the second time JASSMs have been used in Syria. In April 2018, B-1 bombers launched 19 of the missiles at the Syrian regime’s chemical weapons production facilities as part of a large strike, which also included 57 Tomahawk missiles
. JASSM family missiles are guided by a combination of GPS/INS positioning en route, and Imaging Infrared (IIR) for final targeting. They carry a dual-mode penetrator and blast fragmentation warhead at subsonic speed, in a body shape designed to have a very low radar profile.
The 2,000 pound AGM-158 JASSM (Joint Air-to-Surface Standoff Missile) is intended to be a stealthy, inexpensive GPS/IIR (Global Positioning system/ Imaging InfraRed) guided cruise missile. It’s designed to attack well-defended targets without putting its carrier aircraft in the crosshairs of new long-range surface to air missile systems. JASSM has experienced a rocky development history, due to long-standing reliability issues. In 2005 it was threatened with cancellation following a series of poor test results. The program went through 2007 on an ongoing roller coaster of ups and downs, and by May 2009 it appeared the program was facing cancellation once again.