War on Terrorism

Monday, April 30, 2018

Land Component Command Headquarters in Iraq Holds Deactivation Ceremony


SOUTHWEST ASIA -- The Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command headquarters was deactivated today at a ceremony in Baghdad, signifying the end of major combat operations in Iraq against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria and acknowledging the changing composition and responsibilities of the coalition.

CJFLCC was responsible for coalition land force operations in support of Iraqi security forces during the campaign to defeat ISIS in Iraq and liberate more than 4.5 million Iraqis subject to ISIS’ brutal control.

Iraqi and coalition leaders attended the ceremony that formally transferred CJFLCC’s command authorities to Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and featured a traditional casing of the colors ceremony.

“Casing the CJFLCC colors is a symbolic gesture, honoring the perseverance and sacrifice of our coalition partners,” said Army Maj. Gen. Walter Piatt, the former commander of CJFLCC. “Thanks to our partnered success, we are able to continue our support to the government of Iraq under the unified command of CJTF-OIR.”

Iraqi Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool Abdullah, spokesman for Iraqi security forces, said CJFLCC has been an integral part of Iraq’s success against ISIS.

“The commitment and professionalism of all the men and women from all the coalition nations has been of the highest order, and Iraq is immensely grateful for their sacrifice and dedication in this task,” he said. “We look forward to taking the partnership forward with the Combined Joint Task Force, and a friendship that will endure for years to come.”
With the deactivation of CJFLCC, its train, advise, assist and equip missions in support of Iraqi forces are now consolidated under a single headquarters, reflecting the coalition’s commitment to eliminate unnecessary command structures as the nature of its support to Iraq evolves from supporting and enabling combat operations to the training and development of self-sufficient Iraqi security-related capabilities.

Saturday, April 28, 2018

Military Strikes Hit ISIS Terrorists in Syria, Iraq


SOUTHWEST ASIA -- Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve and its partners continued to strike Islamic State of Iraq and Syria targets in designated parts of Syria and Iraq between April 20-26, conducting 26 strikes consisting of 34 engagements, officials reported today.

Strikes in Syria

The following strikes took place in Syria:

-- On April 25, coalition military forces conducted four strikes consisting of four engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS weapons staging area. Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

-- On April 24, coalition military forces conducted five strikes consisting of six engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, four strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit, destroying three ISIS fighting positions and an ISIS vehicle and damaging a fighting position. Near Shadaddi, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed an ISIS vehicle.

-- On April 23, coalition military forces conducted nine strikes consisting of 12 engagements against ISIS targets. Near Abu Kamal, three strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed three ISIS vehicles. Near Shadaddi, six strikes engaged an ISIS tactical unit and destroyed five ISIS vehicles.

-- On April 20 near Abu Kamal, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS fighting position and a motorcycle.

Strikes in Iraq

The following strikes took place in Iraq:

On April 25, coalition military forces conducted three strikes consisting of three engagements against ISIS targets. Near Mosul, a strike destroyed an ISIS-held building. Near Huwayjah, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit. Near Tuz, a strike engaged an ISIS tactical unit.

-- On April 23 near Tal Afar, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of four engagements against ISIS targets, destroying an ISIS-held building.

-- On April 21 near Kirkuk, coalition military forces conducted a strike consisting of two engagements against ISIS targets, destroying five ISIS tunnels, two weapons caches and an ISIS-held building.

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 ground-based tactical artillery, officials noted.

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.

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Evidence of Normal Life Returns to Iraq, Syria, After ‘Caliphate’ Defeat, Official Says


By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON -- Although hard work remains following defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria’s tyrannical self-proclaimed caliphate in Iraq and Syria, there are encouraging signs that life is returning to normal, the spokesman for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve told Pentagon reporters today.

On March 21, various groups across Iraq and Syria -- including Assyrians, Yezidis and Kurds -- celebrated Nowruz, the beginning of the Persian new year, free from ISIS, for the first time in years,  Army Col. Ryan S. Dillon said from Baghdad.

“In Mosul, the United Arab Emirates -- a valued partner in the coalition -- pledged to assist Iraq in reconstructing the Nuri Mosque and the Hadba minaret, which ISIS destroyed as it withdrew further into the city in June of last year,” Dillon said.

Security Aids in Rebuilding

Iraqi security forces continue to provide the security that enables stability necessary for rebuilding and reconstruction, he added, noting that the U.S.-led coalition will continue to conduct operations that limit ISIS’ freedom of movement and constrain their ability to build forces.

In Syria in over the past week, the coalition conducted 14 strikes against ISIS terrorist fighters and defensive fighting positions. Additionally, the Syrian Democratic Forces recently announced the capture of Mohammed Haydar Zammar, a Syrian-born German national who worked as an ISIS recruiter, the spokesman noted.

“The Syrian Democratic Forces continue to prove they are a capable force, defeating ISIS throughout most of north and eastern Syria, but also detaining hundreds of foreign terrorist fighters,” Dillon said.

SDF Stops Terrorists From Re-Forming

Terrorist fighters in the region are attempting to sneak away to establish new safe havens or return to their home countries to recruit, plot and execute attacks, he said, adding that these terrorists’ tradecraft, passports and relationships represent a global threat to the civilized world.

“The SDF are denying ISIS the ability to do this,” Dillon said.

Also denying ISIS the ability to come back to liberated areas, the Raqqa Internal Security Forces continue to grow, improve and provide Raqqawis with security, he noted. The U.S.-led coalition has trained many of the security forces on the law of armed conflict, weapons familiarization, first aid and awareness of techniques to counter improvised explosive devices.

Council Critical to Raqqa’s Comeback

The security forces are subordinate to the Raqqa Civil Council, a local body that is representative of Raqqawis and responsive to their needs, Dillon explained, adding that April 19 marked the first anniversary of the council’s formation. The RCC has been instrumental in instituting stabilization projects to bring life back to Raqqa after the defeat of ISIS, he said.

One such initiative is the restoration of the region's canal system, restoring water to tens of thousands of northeast Syrians.

“According to the RCC, water services now flow as far east as Deir al-Zour province and supply hundreds of wheat farms throughout the region,” Dillon said. “As summer approaches, the RCC aims to construct more than 20 water distribution points throughout the city, ensuring residents have access to clean water.”