WASHINGTON, March 11, 2016 —
The 82nd Airborne Division relinquished command of the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command – Iraq, to the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) March 8 in Baghdad, Combined Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren told reporters here today.
Warren announced the hand-off to the Pentagon press corps in his weekly Operation Inherent Resolve briefing by teleconference from Baghdad.
“The mighty all-Americans of the 82nd Division showed their mettle here for nearly a year, and they've earned the trip home back to see their families, all the way,” he said. “It was a pleasure serving with the 82nd.”
Together with the U.S.-led coalition, the 101st’s Screaming Eagles will continue to work with the Iraqi security forces to make gains against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Warren said.
Leaflet Airdrop Aims to Reach Mosul
In Mosul, where ISIL fighters remain in control, the U.S.-led coalition assisted Iraqi security forces by making an airdrop this week to deliver tens of thousands of leaflets over the city to contact the city’s residents, Warren said.
“[The leaflets] were intended to let the population in Mosul know they haven't been forgotten and that the Iraqi security forces are going to come liberate them,” he said, adding the force wanted to boost residents’ morale.
The leaflets contained a list of the cities that have been liberated from ISIL so far, such as Ramadi, Beiji and others, Warren said.
ISIL Took Leaflets
“According to some reports … ISIL actually locked down the population in the neighborhood where the leaflets fell, and picked [them] up,” Warren said. “The leaflet drop may have struck a little bit of a chord, a nerve, with ISIL.”
Warren said some leaflets likely got through to residents despite ISIL’s attempts to gather them.
The drop of leaflets is another method used by Iraqi security forces’ to counter ISIL, Warren said.
He said he expects leaflet airdrops to the people of Mosul to continue.
“Not [everything] can be successful, but it's no reason to stop trying,” Warren said.
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)