Defense Department News

ISIS Defeat in Mosul 'Inevitable,' Ground Forces Commander Says

June 14, 2017 | BY Lisa Ferdinando

Iraqi security forces are making progress every day against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria in west Mosul, with the defeat of the enemy inevitable, the commander of coalition ground forces told reporters today.

An Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber departs after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight to support Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, June 9, 2017. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles
An Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber departs after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight to support Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, June 9, 2017. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles
An Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber departs after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight to support Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, June 9, 2017. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles
KC-135s fuel the fight from above
An Air Force B-52 Stratofortress bomber departs after receiving fuel from a KC-135 Stratotanker during a flight to support Operation Inherent Resolve, the coalition effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, June 9, 2017. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Michael Battles
Photo By: Staff Sgt. Michael Battles
VIRIN: 170609-F-MI569-1212

"The fight to liberate Mosul from ISIS brutality has been hard-fought and long," Army Maj. Gen. Joseph M. Martin, commander of Operation Inherent Resolve's Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command, said in a videoconference from Baghdad.

Liberation of Civilians

The Iraqi security forces have liberated hundreds of thousands of civilians in Mosul since October, and life is returning to normal in portions of the city, he said. Over the last two years, Iraqi forces have liberated more than 3 million civilians, he added.

"The [Iraqi forces] have taken the fight to the enemy and sacrificed their blood for the people of Iraq," he said. "I'm honored to serve by their side in this endeavor."

VIDEO | 00:19 | Coalition Forces Remain United, Ground Commander Says

East Mosul was liberated in January. In west Mosul, many Iraqis remain under the domination of ISIS terror, Martin said, adding that the coalition stands united, side by side with Iraq's government and people.

ISIS Running Out of Options

"We will continue to support them until all the Iraqis are liberated and the country is free to choose its own future," he said. 

The fight has cost the lives of many brave Iraqi security forces personnel and innocent civilians, he said. "There is still tough fighting ahead, and the coalition will go anywhere the Iraqis go," he added.

VIDEO | 00:25 | Ground Forces Commander: Iraqi Forces Have Liberated 'Hundreds of Thousands of Civilians' in Mosul

"The military defeat of ISIS in Iraq is inevitable, and we will help the Iraqis achieve that."

The enemy is encircled and running out of options, he said. Meanwhile, he told reporters, the coalition continues to support the Iraqi forces by providing joint coalition fires. Progress has been steady, but slow at times, he said.

"It's metered by the diversity of the terrain and the stiff resistance they face or they don't face," he explained," but each day there's progress."