Dec. 4, 2018 —
SOUTHWEST ASIA – Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve and partner force, Syrian Democratic Forces, continue operations for phase three of Operation Roundup near Deir ez-Zor, Syria, located in the Middle Euphrates River Valley.
Between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30, ISIS attempted to exploit unfavorable weather conditions and maneuver within the battlefield by conducting harassing fires in an attempt to gain an advantage in the MERV. On multiple occasions, ISIS tried to regain possession of their equipment and attempted a counterattack. CJTF-OIR and partner forces responded to ISIS with combined fires through Iraq-based artillery and close air support.
“This past week, not only did we swiftly and persistently deny ISIS’s desperate attempts to capitalize on inclement weather, we denied them any chance of recovering their equipment and we prevented them from having any success in launching a counterattack,” said Maj. Gen. Patrick Roberson, Special Operations Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve Commanding General.
Coalition strikes further degraded ISIS capabilities between Nov. 24 and Nov. 30 by denying ISIS terrain and destroying more than ten command and control centers, 16 weapons caches, eight fighting positions, and six staging facilities.
“As we degrade their capabilities and push them into an ever smaller box, ISIS continues to employ more and more desperate measures,” Roberson stated. “These tactics won’t succeed.”
There are approximately 2,000 ISIS terrorists remaining in the MERV and they currently operate out of less than one percent of the territory they once held. The Coalition supports partner forces in order to contain ISIS within the last remaining territory they currently hold. The ground offensive will continue to clear ISIS remnants from the MERV. The Iraqi Security Forces continue to defend their shared border with Syria to prevent ISIS terrorists from escaping back into Iraq.
Operation Roundup began May 1, 2018. Phase one concluded on May 15th after the successful clearance of ISIS near Baghuz in northeastern Syria. Phase two cleared ISIS from Dashisha, Syria. Phase three began on Aug. 4th with ground operations aimed to clear ISIS remnants from Hajin and the remaining Deir ez-Zor countryside east of the Euphrates River. Operation Roundup continues to enable forces to close in on the final remnants of ISIS.
CJTF-OIR, representing 74 nations and five international organizations, remains committed to the lasting defeat of ISIS. CJTF-OIR works by, with, and through partner forces to defeat ISIS in designated areas of Iraq and Syria, and set conditions for follow-on operations to increase regional stability.
Editor’s Note: Video of a Coalition airstrike destroying an ISIS fuel truck in As Susah, Syria, Nov. 29 2018: