WASHINGTON, Dec. 11, 2017 — While Iraqi security forces and Syrian Democratic Forces have destroyed the idea of an Islamic State of Iraq and Syria ‘Caliphate,’ much work remains to be done against the terror group, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Robert Manning said today.
Over the weekend, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi announced that Iraqi security forces — including Kurdish peshmerga forces — had defeated ISIS in his country.
Abadi is proud of his troops who fought pitched battles — from Beiji to Mosul to Fallujah to Ramadi to Hit to Qaim — to defeat the group, which once threatened Baghdad.
“Iraqi security forces, to include the peshmerga, fought against a determined enemy and sacrificed greatly since 2014,” Manning said. “We congratulate all those who fought and remember all those who died to liberate Iraq from vicious ISIS territorial control.”
Iraqi forces were caught off guard when ISIS swooped in in 2014 and the terror group stopped just 30 miles from the Iraqi capital. The Iraqi government asked for aid, and coalition forces led by the United States stepped up. Soon, service members from around the world arrived to train Iraqi security forces, provide supplies and equipment and provide air support that stopped ISIS in its tracks.
As Iraqi forces gained more confidence, they began attacking ISIS and pushing the terror group back.
At the same time across the border in Syria, Kurds and Arabs — sick of ISIS’ brutality — formed the SDF. Coalition support enabled the group to take the fight to ISIS in areas that were once the terror group’s stronghold.
Now, Iraqi security forces and the SDF have taken back all the territory once held by ISIS. U.S. officials said there are fewer than 3,000 ISIS adherents in Iraq and Syria, with most of those in Syria.
The SDF and Iraqi forces — with coalition support — have liberated 7.7 million people from ISIS over the past three years.
But now is not the time to declare victory and go home, Manning said. “Much work remains to ensure ISIS’s lasting defeat and the government of Iraq can count on continuing coalition support as we work together to erase the stain of ISIS and to strengthen the institutions of Iraq’s national defense,” he said.
Watch this video of the “Falcon” troopers of the 82nd Airborne Division’s 2nd Brigade in Iraq:
Paratroopers deployed in support of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve and assigned to
2nd Brigade Combat Team, 82nd Airborne Division, conducting their advise and assist mission to the Iraqi
security forces partners fighting for the military defeat of ISIS in Iraq. Col. Pat Work, commander of 2nd BCT,
82nd Abn. Div., provides an update to Paratroopers, families, and friends of the brigade. The 2nd BCT, 82nd Abn. Div.
enables their ISF partners through the advise and assist mission, contributing planning, intelligence collection and
analysis, force protection, and precision fires to achieve the military defeat of ISIS. CJTF-OIR is the global
Coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (Army video by Cpl. Rachel Diehm)
Manning confirmed that SDF and Iraqi leaders met near their shared border Dec. 10. They reaffirmed a collective commitment as they continued clearance and security in their respective areas of operation. The meeting was held near the border crossing at Qaim, Iraq and Abu Kamal, Syria.
The representatives agreed to coordinate security along the border, and will establish a joint coordination center to ensure border security.
The SDF will continue operations to clear the northern and eastern side of the Euphrates River valley. Iraqi forces will patrol throughout Iraq to ensure there is no resurgence of the terror group or rise of a similar ideology.
There are still small numbers of ISIS adherents in Iraq and Syria. The Iraqi forces and the SDF will continue to root them out, Manning said.
Securing the border is important for both Syria and Iraq. ISIS gained a foothold in Iraq, in part, from adherents of the group infiltrating over the very porous border from Syria.
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @GaramoneDoDNews)
Left-Wing Extremist Charged in Alleged Florida Capitol Attack Identified Soros as “Sponsor”
Daniel Alan Baker had bragged of a Soros sponsorship.
A left-wing extremist arrested and charged with a terrorist plot to confront and kidnap protestors at the Florida Capitol identified billionaire George Soros as his “sponsor” in a YouTube video. Daniel Alan Baker, 33, has been federally charged with transmitting a threat to kidnap or injure.
Baker appears to have fought overseas with a Kurdish militia group identified as a terrorist organization by the State Department, the Marxist PKK. He’s an Army veteran who appears to have been discharged after going AWOL before a deployment.
Baker has been charged for an alleged plot involving a group of armed leftists surrounding pro-Trump protestors at the Florida Capitol in Tallahassee on the day of Joe Biden’s inauguration. It’s unclear if right-wing protestors even intend to demonstrate at the site, and Baker’s dangerous attempt to incite an armed confrontation may never have advanced beyond speculative stages.
A “call to arms” flier seen on Baker’s YouTube channel calls for Florida residents to surround supposed “racists” and to “trap them inside” the State Capitol, advocating for the kidnapping of supposed Inauguration demonstrators.
In a YouTube video calling for doxxing attempts on individuals present at the raucous US Capitol riot, Baker brags of having acquired the globalist oligarch as a “sponsor,” implying that the megabillionaire had provided him with an “antifa card.”
Baker’s remarks may have been hyperbole, intentionally seeking to draw attention from critics of the Hungarian-born liberal kingpin.
A charging affidavit also alleges that Baker advocated for the assassination of United States military officers on his YouTube channel, a threat that could potentially incur even more serious criminal charges.
The FBI believes that Baker intended to assassinate Turkish military personnel training in the United States, and that he was on the scene during Seattle’s Capital Hill Autonomous Zone anarchist rebellion. Baker identified himself as a “hardcore leftist” on his personal social media, as well, urging his followers to “prepare for war” after the November 3rd election.
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