As I mentioned in the first part of this report, there are a number of dangers our troops and allies are currently facing in Iraq, including rocket and missile attacks from Iran.
As of now, our administration here in the U.S. has done nothing to stop this. In fact, they have done less than nothing. It is close to impossible to find any updates on the problems occurring here in mainstream media.
But here at All Things Possible, we refuse to stand idly by as innocent victims are attacked and caught in the crossfire. To understand what is currently happening in this region and what we are facing, you need to have a background on why these conflicts with ISIS are happening and exactly what is at stake.
What You Need To Know About ISIS/Da’esh
ISIS (also referred to as Da’esh in the Middle East), presents a global terrorist threat that has recruited thousands of foreign fighters from across the globe, leveraging technology to spread its violent extremist ideology and incite terrorist acts.
They have dramatically undermined stability in Iraq, Syria, the broader Middle East and pose a threat to international peace and security. They continue to commit gross, systematic abuses of human rights and violations of international law. This includes indiscriminate killing, targeting of civilians, mass executions and persecution of entire communities on the basis of their identity.
The kidnapping of civilians is common, as well as forced displacement of minority groups, killing and maiming of children, rape, sexual violence and other atrocities.
Despite what the American media may tell you, Da’esh ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham) was never fully defeated.
The Obama administration decided to pull out of Iraq leaving very few military personnel behind in 2011 and ISIS took advantage of the situation. A lawless environment fueled by sectarian strife, allowed ISIS to reemerge from relative obscurity in 2013 to claim it had created an Islamic caliphate. Organized around an extremist socio-political ideology, ISIS acquired conventional weapons, established size-ably armed formations, and took control of large areas within Iraq and Syria, perpetrating atrocities that shocked the world.
Da’esh is what ISIS is called in the Arab world as a way of challenging the legitimacy of the terror group due to negative connotations of the word. Da’esh is essentially an Arabic acronym formed from the initial letters of the group’s previous name in Arabic — “al-Dawla al-Islamiya fil Iraq wa al- Sham.” Although it doesn’t mean anything as a word in Arabic, it sounds unpleasant and the group’s supporters object to its use. Da’esh also sounds like an Arabic verb that means to tread underfoot, trample down or crush something.
Seven years ago, ISIS controlled an area of approximately 110,000 square kilometers; an area that included Raqqa, Mosul, Ramadi and Fallujah. By 2019, they had suffered a complete reversal, losing all that territory, leading to the liberation of the last of almost 8 million people who had been under their oppressive control.
While ISIS has been territorially defeated, their leadership degraded and their ideology widely condemned, they still pose a threat. The remnants remain active, funding themselves through criminal activity. They still have supporters in Iraq and Syria who continue to endorse the spread of violence across the globe, and who seek to regain their previous territory.
A combination of civilian-led stabilization and military pressure is still needed to ensure this does not happen.
How We’re Fighting Back
Iraqi Security Forces and our partners in Syria have shown great dedication and commitment in defeating ISIS and are increasingly conducting independent operations to provide security for local governance and stabilization activities.
CJTF-OIR (Combined Joint Forces – Operation Inherent Resolve) has supported our partners, providing equipment, technical advice, advanced surveillance and air support. As our partners’ capacity has grown, CJTF-OIR has focused on supporting the parts of their military capability that are oriented toward dismantling ISIS leadership, finances and global network.
The mission of the Coalition has shifted from a mission of combat to one of support for our partner forces through advising, assisting and enabling at the operational and strategic level. CJTF-OIR works closely with local, regional and international actors in Iraq, and designated areas of Syria, to help bring stability to conflict-affected areas and to work toward enduring security partnerships. The Coalition remains steadfast in its commitment to supporting our partners in Iraq and Syria as they secure the enduring defeat of ISIS/Da’esh.
As noted in UN Security Council Resolution 2170, “Terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States… which is why our first priority is to encourage others to join in this important endeavor.”
Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF- OIR) continues to work with regional partners to militarily defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, in order to enable whole-of-coalition governmental actions to increase regional stability.
We continue working with our partners in Iraq as they mobilize, strategize and work toward the next steps. As always, our goal remains to restore innocent victims, bring the bad guys down and help usher in peace in these turbulent regions.
You can join us and give any time to our work in the Middle East right here.
In the next part of my report, I’ll introduce you to the Kurdish forces who are also fighting against ISIS (The YPG Fighting Force). I’ll also share more about CJTF- OIR and give you a more in-depth timeline on their fight against ISIS.
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