CJTF-OIR reflects on 2017 and looks forward to 2018
Today, the 70 nations and four organizations that comprise the Global Coalition reflect on 2017 as we look forward to 2018.
The campaign to defeat Daesh, which commenced in 2014, achieved its most significant progress in 2017 as key cities in Iraq and Syria, including Mosul, Hawijah, al-Qaim, Tal Afar, Raqqah, and Tabqah, were systematically liberated from the brutal clutches of Daesh’s so-called caliphate.
“During 2017 over 61,500km² of territory was liberated from Daesh across Iraq and Syria, meaning more than 98% of the land once claimed by the terrorist group has been returned to the people,” said Lt. Gen. Paul E. Funk II, commanding general of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve. “This means more than 4.5 million people were liberated from Daesh oppression in 2017 – a remarkable achievement by our partners leading to a grand total of 7.7 million people over the three years of Operation Inherent Resolve."
“The Coalition started 2017 with 67 member organizations, and concluded the year with 74. This indicates the international resolve to defeat Daesh is stronger than ever, and we will continue our efforts to prevent the resurgence of this perverse ideology,” said Funk. "Their repressive ideology continues. The conditions remain present for Daesh to return, and only through coalition and international efforts can the defeat become permanent."
The fight against Daesh has taken a heavy toll. As we look forward to further success in 2018, the Coalition remembers those who made the ultimate sacrifice in the global effort to defeat Daesh in 2017. This includes hundreds of brave Iraqis and Syrians who gave their lives for their nations, service members from Coalition nations, and the many innocent Iraqis and Syrians who have died as a result of Daesh’s terrorism.
As 2018 begins, the Government of Iraq looks forward to continuing to help its people rebuild after the nation’s complete liberation from Daesh. Syrian Democratic Forces remain engaged in the final phases of liberating the middle Euphrates River valley.
Building on these accomplishments, the Coalition’s efforts are refocusing on supporting the international community’s whole-of-government efforts to prevent the re-emergence of ideology-based terrorism and to assist partners in bolstering security that will enable stability in the region and around the world. The future success of non-military activity will be decisive in the defeat of Daesh.
The Coalition’s contribution will be largely through continued training of the ISF and the SDF, who will provide security for their people and their national borders. The Coalition will build on the training that has already been delivered to over 126,500 Iraqis and more than 12,500 Syrians to date.
“Support from the international community is vital to the comprehensive defeat of Daesh and achievement of stability in the region,” said Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney, deputy commander of Strategy and Support for CJTF-OIR.
Despite a string of successes by ISF and SDF, much work remains to ensure the enduring defeat of Daesh. The terrorist group is still attempting to establish regional networks and remains a regional and global threat through its ability to organize or inspire acts of violence against innocent people around the world. We urge international governments and nongovernmental organizations to answer the call of the Iraqi and Syrian people to build conditions that prevent the re-emergence of violent extremism here, so that the people of Iraq and Syria can be permanently freed from the horrors of Daesh.
• View Lt. Gen. Funk’s New Year’s message here: https://www.facebook.com/CJTFOIR/videos/
• For more photos from CJTF-OIR, dating back to 2014, please browse our presence on the Defense Video Imagery Distribution System: