News   Lethality

U.S.-Led Coalition Pushes On Toward Enduring Defeat of ISIS

Oct. 16, 2018 | BY Terri Moon Cronk
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Speaking to Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Baghdad, Army Col. Sean J. Ryan, the spokesperson for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, discussed ongoing operations in Iraq and Syria.

Last week in Iraq:

A joint operation by Iraqi special forces and Kurdish counterterrorism forces, along with coalition assistance, led to the arrest of 10 members of the al-Rawi financial network, a key ISIS financial facilitation group based in Iraq.
Iraqi forces found and destroyed more than 100 explosives and improvised explosive devices and the facilities where they were stored and processed.
In Ramadi, Iraqi forces captured 28 suspected ISIS fighters and found more than 1,000 IEDs.
Iraqi forces escorted 31 displaced families back to their homes in and around Jazira.

According to Ryan, small pockets of ISIS fighters are targeting water supplies, power lines and cell towers in Kirkuk to undermine the legitimacy of the government of Iraq.

He said the ministry of the interior and Iraqi forces are responding quickly to return essential services and they are relentlessly pursuing the terrorist cells in intelligence-driven operations across the nation.

Soldiers approach a Howitzer after it is fired in the desert.
Howitzer Hustle
U.S. soldiers fire a howitzer in Iraq, Aug. 12, 2018, while supporting Iraqi forces as part of Operation Inherent Resolve. Army photo by 2nd Lt. Jamie Douglas
Photo By: 2nd Lt. Jamie Douglas
VIRIN: 180812-A-AB123-004C

In Syria:

Ryan said as Syrian Democratic Forces continue to degrade ISIS capabilities in the middle Euphrates River Valley they are encountering:

Booby-trapped buildings
Improvised explosive devices
Repeated attacks

As the SDF presses forward to achieve the final liberation of enemy-controlled terrain in the middle Euphrates River valley, civilians continue to attempt to escape from ISIS oppression, he said.

"ISIS is resorting to the same desperate tactics we've seen time and time again to prevent their escape, and continues their stranglehold on the people as they use civilians as a cover to house IED factories, move weapons and stage attacks throughout the area," Ryan said.

The coalition and SDF are acting decisively, however, to ease the suffering and bring an enduring end to ISIS, he said.