October 22, 2016
Release # 20161022-04
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command - Operation Inherent Resolve
BAGHDAD - Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve provided more than 24,000 protective chemical masks to the Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga during training in preparation for the Mosul offensive.
The use of chemical weapons by the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant reinforces why the international coalition is assisting the Iraqi government to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL, which continues to kill indiscriminately and is completely unencumbered by any legal or moral restraint.
"The enemy has used chemical weapons in the past, and we're going to make sure we are taking every measure to mitigate the risk to our forces," said Maj. Gen. Gary J. Volesky, commander, Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command - Operation Inherent Resolve. "Force protection is my number one priority here."
CJTF-OIR has five building partner capacity sites, which were instrumental in training Iraqi security forces and Peshmerga counter-attack brigades for the Mosul offensive.
Part of their training includes reacting to chemical attacks by ISIL and effectively using and fighting in their issued gas masks.
"The Coalition is trained. We've trained the ISF and Peshmerga; they've got equipment," said Volesky. "We're confident that as the enemy attempt to use a lot of means - not just chemicals - we're targeting the training with the Iraqis and with the Coalition to make sure we're mitigating any risk of that threat."