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Operation INHERENT RESOLVE observes Task Force’s third anniversary

By CJTF-OIR

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MIDDLE EAST -- Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) is proud to mark the third anniversary of the international effort to defeat Daesh.

CJTF-OIR was formally established Oct. 17, 2014 by the U.S. Department of Defense, and is currently supported by the combined effort of 69 nations and four partner organizations. Over the last 3 years, OIR has brought together a large and powerful military coalition which has enabled partner forces in Iraq and Syria to liberate their countries from Daesh.

Daesh began forming amid sectarian conflicts in Iraq and in 2013 its brutal and evil ideology spread across Iraq and Syria, establishing so-called capitals in Mosul and Raqqah.

At its peak, Daesh recruited thousands of foreign and domestic terrorists to enforce its evil tyranny over some 8 million civilians living in the occupied territory, routinely conducting torture and public executions to maintain control over the terrorized population.

In mid-2014, the United States Third Army/Army Central created the Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command to lead operations in Iraq against Daesh. From its formation, the CJTF worked to advise, assist, equip and train Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) to defeat Daesh, and later incorporated the Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) into the operation.

Coalition nations continue to support the ISF and SDF with the most precise air campaign in history. The Coalition goes to extraordinary lengths to prevent harm to non-combatants and minimize partner force losses.

The “by, with and through” strategy of working with the Government of Iraq and the SDF has seen more than 119,375 forces trained by the Global Coalition in Iraq, and more than 12,154 trained in Syria in the past three years, with these forces playing essential roles in liberating over 6.6 million Iraqi and Syrian civilians from Daesh control. In the process, the combined efforts of the Coalition and its partner forces have reclaimed over 93,790 km² of territory – more than 87% of the territory seized by Daesh in 2014.

Partner forces over the last three years have liberated major population centers in Syria and Iraq including Mosul, Tal Afar and Hawijah in Iraq, and Tabqah and Manbij in Syria. The battle for Raqqah is near its end as SDF clears the city following an arrangement facilitated by the Raqqah Civil Council and local Arab tribal elders that escorted approximately 3,500 civilians to safety.

Throughout the operation, the focus has been on destroying Daesh while avoiding unnecessary loss of civilian life and damage to critical infrastructure. The Coalition holds itself accountable for the use of force in accordance with the law of armed conflict, and in support of our partner forces liberating the people of Iraq and Syria from the oppressive control of Daesh.

CJTF-OIR’s partner forces are effectively holding the regions reclaimed from Daesh throughout Iraq and Syria and are working hard to ensure passage of displaced people to safe locations. The Global Coalition recognizes the hard work and cooperative efforts of the Government of Iraq, legitimate Civil Councils in Syria, international government aid organizations and various non-government organizations in restoring local, inclusive governance and basic, essential services to citizens returning to their home towns.

CJTF-OIR’s efforts to defeat Daesh have made significant progress but are not yet over, with an estimated 3,000 to 7,000 Daesh terrorists continuing to fight in Iraq and Syria. The liberation of Raqqah will be yet another milestone in our partners’ achievements, but there will be more work to do to defeat Daesh.

The people of Iraq and Syria continue to support our shared mission of defeating Daesh because we have demonstrated we care for their well-being and are fighting to restore peace and legitimate governance in the region. OIR's legacy will be the peace and stability offered to the populations liberated from the scourge of Daesh.