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U.S., coalition forces change focus in battle against ISIS

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Enabled by accelerated successes following the liberation of Mosul, the coalition will shift its focus in Iraq from enabling combat operations to sustaining military gains against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials announced today.

 

“The coalition will tailor our forces in consultation with our Iraqi partners in order to ensure the lasting defeat of [ISIS],” said CJTF-OIR director of operations, Army Brig. Gen. Jonathan Braga.

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As a result of the successful operations by the coalition and its partners, ISIS has lost about 98 percent of the territory it once held in Iraq and Syria. However, coalition commanders have noted ISIS is likely to transition back into an insurgency. ISIS still retains the ability to carry out lethal attacks and poses a potent threat to civilians and to the stability of the region.

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“We’re clear the enemy is still capable of offensive action and retains the ability to plan and inspire attacks worldwide,” Braga said. “Although OIR’s force composition may change over time to ensure we have the best forces on hand for the task, we will retain an appropriate amount of capabilities as well as an advisory presence to continue training, advising and equipping our partners in the continued fight against [ISIS], all with the approval of the government of Iraq.

Italian army soldiers assigned to the 3rd Alpine Regiment, deployed in support of Operation Inherent Resolve visit with students at a primary school, Mosul Dam Village, Iraq, Nov. 12, 2017. The breadth and diversity of Coalition partners demonstrates the global and unified goal of defeating ISIS in Iraq and Syria. CJTF-OIR is the global Coalition to defeat ISIS in Iraq and Syria. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Tracy McKithern)

“Our enduring presence as invited guests in Iraq will shift to focus more on policing, border control and military capacity building. We will sustain the successful momentum and enhance the capacities of the Iraqi security forces in pursuing [ISIS], now and in the future,” Braga said.

Preventing ISIS’ return

To prevent the conditions under which ISIS can re-emerge, coalition-partnered military operations will enable diplomatic and economic efforts by the international community that will capitalize on the military gains of the past year. “Military success has bought time, space and security for non-military stabilization efforts to help the people of Iraq, and we look to facilitate the return of normalcy for Iraqis,” Braga said.

Continued coalition presence in Iraq will be conditions-based, proportional to the need and in coordination with the government of Iraq.

“We will redouble our efforts to develop the Iraqi security forces, ensuring they have the necessary capability and expertise to meet current and future security threats,” said British Army Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney, OIR’s deputy commander for strategy and support. “We remain committed to working with our Iraqi partners.”

Although the coalition will not provide specifics on individual nations’ plans and contributions, it asserts 2018 will be a critical year in adjusting coalition forces as it consolidates gains against [ISIS] and brings hope for a better future to the Iraqi people.

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Two Men Arrested for Planning Terrorist Attack on Trump Tower in Support of ISIS

They’re from South Carolina and Texas.

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The FBI has arrested two men and charged them with planning terrorist attacks on locations such as New York’s Trump Tower in support of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.

Kristopher Sean Matthews of South Carolina and Jaylyn Christopher Molina of Texas have been charged with conspiring to provide material support or resources to a designated foreign terrorist organization.

Matthews adopted the pseudonym Ali Jibreel, and Molina the name Abdur Rahim.

The pair allegedly plotted to attack government facilities and New York’s Trump Tower, discussing their plans in jihadist chatrooms. They were busted by federal informants within these honeypots.

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We need to stick together, we need to defeat them, we need to take a lot of casualties,” said Molina of the pair’s plotting. Molina spoke of his allegiance to ISIS in the server. “You are my enemy (America) and never will I wear your flag … but I will raise the black flag of Allah.

They also spoke of the proposition of traveling to Syria in order to fight for ISIS, an idea that would’ve almost certainly resulted in their quick capture or death. American citizens caught fighting for ISIS on foreign battlefields have proven to be a legal nightmare for American military and civil law to manage.

Both were arrested on Monday. They face a maximum penalty of twenty years in prison, with a lifetime of supervised release.

These clowns didn’t get very far in actually planning acts of violence in support of ISIS, and they seem to have somewhat missed the boat- ISIS has largely been defeated by American-backed Kurdish militias and the Iraqi and Syrian governments. But they deserve punishment nonetheless.

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