WASHINGTON, Jan. 16, 2018 — Coalition and Iraqi forces have liberated millions of people from the “evil of ISIS,” with the efforts putting Iraq on a path toward greater security, an Operation Inherent Resolve official said today in Baghdad.
Coalition partners will continue to support the Iraqi security forces to “root out and destroy” the remaining terrorists with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Marine Corps Brig. Gen. James F. Glynn, deputy commanding general of Special Operations Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, said in a teleconference with Pentagon reporters.
“The ISF has proven itself a legitimate fighting force that has and will continue their momentum, provide security for the people of Iraq, and quell the rise of new insurgencies,” the general said.
The successes of the Iraqi forces has been evident “time and again in the dismantling of threats and tyranny held on communities,” he said.
Baghdad attack: Cowardly, evil, desperate act
Although ISIS has been militarily defeated, challenges remain, Glynn said.
“As we recognize these challenges, we wish to extend our sympathies to those who were killed and injured in the suicide attack in a Baghdad market just yesterday,” he said. The double suicide bombing in Tayaran Square killed more than two dozen people.
“This attack is another example of the cowardice, evil and the desperate acts that ISIS and other violent extremists who want to remain relevant throughout this area of operation will execute,” Glynn said.
4.5 million liberated from ‘Evil of ISIS’
Glynn described efforts from coalition and Iraqi forces to restore security in Iraq.
“The campaign against ISIS has resulted in over 4.5 million people in Iraq liberated from the evil of ISIS,” Glynn said, adding “We congratulate the government of Iraq on their success, and are proud to stand beside them.”
Other successes include Iraqi forces destroying more than 100 improvised explosive devices and thousands of pounds of explosives across Iraq in recent weeks, he said.
Defeating ‘Evil terrorist ideology’
The fight, however, is not over, Glynn said, highlighting that much work remains to ensure the enduring defeat of this “evil terrorist ideology.”
ISIS has demonstrated its desire to return to its terrorist roots, he said, noting innocent civilians have been killed in ISIS bombings and attacks over the past several weeks. He said Iraqi partners will continue to provide security, including policing and border control functions, to prevent the migration and re-emergence of the ISIS threat.
Defeating the terrorists will take some time, he said, because ISIS fighters are hiding in the mountains and among the civilian population.
“As we look forward to the next stage in the campaign, the coalition will continue to assist in consolidating gains made over the past few years,” he said. “This involves the stabilization of security and essential services, focused predominantly in areas where ISIS once dominated — and our Iraqi partners will make this happen.”
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