War on Terrorism

Sunday, October 22, 2017

Officials Provide Details of Latest Strikes Against ISIS



SOUTHWEST ASIA, Oct. 21, 2017 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting 11 strikes consisting of 11 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday's strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of five engagements against ISIS targets:

-- Near Abu Kamal, a strike destroyed an ISIS-held oil wellhead.

-- Near Dayr Az Zwar, four strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed three logistics nodes and a fighting position.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets:

-- Near Qaim, six strikes destroyed an ISIS weapons cache, two ISIS-held buildings, an improvised explosive device factory, a weapons storage facility and an ISIS petroleum, oil, and lubricants site.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria. The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group's ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world, task force officials said.

The list above contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing or remotely piloted aircraft; rocket-propelled artillery; and some ground-based tactical artillery when fired on planned targets, officials noted.

Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike, they added. A strike, as defined by the coalition, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single or cumulative effect.

For example, task force officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined, officials said.

The task force does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Syrian Democratic Forces Liberate Raqqa


SOUTHWEST ASIA, Oct. 20, 2017 — The Syrian city of Raqqa has been liberated from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the coalition’s Syrian Democratic Forces partners announced today, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported.

ISIS’ loss of Mosul, and now Raqqa, are turning points for the terrorist organization, whose leaders grow ever more distant from a dwindling number of terrorist adherents, officials said.

Raqqa was occupied by Syrian opposition forces in 2013 and was embroiled in a destructive civil war before being seized by ISIS in January 2014, at which time the city was declared the capital of the terrorist group's so-called "caliphate."

Brutal ISIS Regime

During the civil war in Raqqa, the local population lived in a crossfire of destruction brought about by continuous conflict between the Syrian regime and the opposition, officials said. Under ISIS, Raqqa became a magnet for foreign terrorists. Residents were forced to live under a brutal regime that routinely carried out public executions, extortions billed as "taxation" and forced conscriptions.

ISIS used its three-plus year occupation to convert Raqqa into a fortified military prison, officials said. The terrorist organization used hospitals, mosques, schools and otherwise-protected sites as cover for the planning, execution and support of military operations. ISIS also committed violations of human rights for which individuals will be held accountable. Raqqa was a key location for ISIS’ planning, financing, execution, or inspiration of terrorist activities throughout the world, including attacks in Paris and Nice in France, Brussels in Belgium, Manchester in England, and many others.

The fight to liberate Raqqa commenced with coalition strikes against ISIS in support of the ground assault by Syrian Democratic Forces June 6, officials said. By Sept. 3, SDF had made significant gains and secured the ancient mosque in the old city center. This prevented the mosque from succumbing to the same fate as the Al Nuri Mosque in West Mosul, Iraq, which ISIS terrorists destroyed in June 2017.

"An ethnically diverse force with local elements leading the fight, the SDF conducted a highly effective, professional operation in a difficult urban area to free the city," said coalition director of operations, Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga.

Minimizing Civilian Casualties

The SDF "fought tenaciously and with courage against an unprincipled enemy,” Braga added, noting great care was taken to move the population trapped by ISIS away from the battle area and to minimize civilian casualties.

Throughout the fight for Raqqa, the coalition provided -- and continues to provide -- training, equipment, advice, assistance, intelligence, air and ground fires support to decisively defeat ISIS, officials said. The liberated city will return to local governance and leadership and Raqqa’s citizens now have a chance to control their own future.

While symbolic, the SDF's liberation of Raqqa does not mean the end of ISIS terrorism, officials said.

The military defeat of ISIS “is essential, but not sufficient," said coalition commander Army Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II. ISIS remnants remain in Iraq and Syria, he said, and the coalition will continue to facilitate humanitarian efforts assisting citizens adversely affected by ISIS’ brutality.

U.S., Coalition Continue Strikes to Defeat ISIS in Syria, Iraq



SOUTHWEST ASIA, Oct. 20, 2017 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria yesterday, conducting eight strikes consisting of 13 engagements, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday's strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

In Syria, coalition military forces conducted two strikes consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets:

-- Near Abu Kamal, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a headquarters structure and a vehicle.

-- Near Ash Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

Strikes in Iraq

In Iraq, coalition military forces conducted six strikes consisting of seven engagements against ISIS targets:

-- Near Qaim, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device factory and damaged three ISIS-held buildings.

-- Near Beiji, a strike destroyed three ISIS tunnels.

-- Near Rawah, two strikes destroyed an ISIS weapons cache and a VBIED factory.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

These strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to destroy ISIS in Iraq and Syria.

The destruction of ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria also further limits the group’s ability to project terror and conduct external operations throughout the region and the rest of the world.

This coalition strike release contains all strikes conducted by fighter, attack, bomber, rotary-wing, or remotely piloted aircraft, rocket propelled artillery and ground-based tactical artillery.

A strike, as defined in the coalition release, refers to one or more kinetic engagements that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative effect in that location. For example, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIS vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against a group of ISIS-held buildings and weapon systems in a compound, having the cumulative effect of making that facility harder or impossible to use. Strike assessments are based on initial reports and may be refined.
CJTF-OIR does not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. The information used to compile the daily strike releases is based on 'Z' or Greenwich Mean Time.