Friday, March 27, 2015

Coalition Airstrikes Enable Renewal of Tikrit Ground Offensive



By Claudette Roulo
DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – Several thousand regular Iraqi security forces and troops from the Popular Mobilization Forces have resumed their offensive operations on the ground in Tikrit, Iraq, Pentagon spokesman Army Col. Steve Warren said today.

Some Shiite militia units have withdrawn from the battlefield, Warren added.

"These are primarily the Shia militia units that we had no interest in being on the battlefield in the first place,” he said. “These are the Shia militia that are clearly linked or often infiltrated by Iran, so their departure from the battlefield is welcome."

The withdrawal of militia groups with links to Iran was a precondition of U.S. air support for the effort to retake Tikrit from Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists, who have held the city since June, Warren said.

Zero Tolerance for Sectarian Improprieties

"The Iraqis had a decision to make," he said. “They were able to observe firsthand exactly what Iran brought to the table as they conducted operations in and around Tikrit. They have also been able to observe firsthand what the coalition brings to the table, based on operations throughout the rest of the Iraq. The Iraqis obviously have made a decision."

The forces that remain on the battlefield are loyal to the government of Iraq and under the direct control of Iraq's Ministry of Defense, the colonel said.

"Prime Minister [Haider] al-Abadi has made it very clear to them that ... there is a zero-tolerance policy for any sectarian improprieties," he said.

U.S., coalition and Iraqi airstrikes against ISIL targets continue in the region, Warren said, noting that the effectiveness of the air campaign has been clearly demonstrated by the fact that the ground offensive in Tikrit has resumed. The colonel cautioned against attempting to guess at a timeline for offensive operations inside the city.

"Urban warfare is difficult. It is rough, hot, bloody, tiring, exhaustive work, and so no one should expect this to be an overnight thing," he said. "This is a hard fight that the Iraqis are going to have to go through and it will be difficult."

Airstrikes Hit ISIL in Syria, Iraq


DoD News, Defense Media Activity

WASHINGTON, March 27, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Attack, fighter and bomber aircraft conducted six airstrikes near Kobani, which struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL fighting positions, three ISIL vehicles, two ISIL anti-aircraft artillery weapons and an ISIL excavator.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Attack, fighter and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 10 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Beiji, two airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery weapon.

-- Near Fallujah, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed an ISIL anti-aircraft artillery weapon.

-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL staging area and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL building.

-- Near Sinjar, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed five ISIL buildings, an anti-aircraft artillery weapon and an ISIL mortar position.

-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike destroyed an ISIL vehicle.

-- Near Tikrit, three airstrikes struck an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL vehicle bomb.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Coalition Airstrikes Continue in Syria, Iraq



From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, March 26, 2015 – U.S. and coalition military forces have continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of the latest strikes, which took place between 8 a.m. yesterday and 8 a.m. today, local time, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Airstrikes in Syria

Fighter, attack and bomber aircraft conducted five airstrikes in Syria:

-- Near Ar Raqqah, an airstrike struck an ISIL military garrison.

-- Near Kobani, four airstrikes struck two ISIL tactical units, five ISIL fighting positions and destroyed two ISIL fighting positions.

Airstrikes in Iraq

Fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 24 airstrikes in Iraq, approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense:

-- Near Bayji, an airstrike struck an ISIL tactical unit.

-- Near Fallujah, three airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units and two ISIL fighting positions.

-- Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL checkpoint and an ISIL staging area.

-- Near Tal Afar, an airstrike struck an ISIL fighting position.

-- Near Tikrit, 17 airstrikes struck multiple ISIL buildings, two ISIL bridges, three ISIL checkpoints, two ISIL staging areas, two ISIL berms, an ISIL roadblock and an ISIL command and control facility.

Part of Operation Inherent Resolve

The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group's ability to project terror and conduct operations, officials said.

Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Iraq include the United States, Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom. Coalition nations conducting airstrikes in Syria include the United States, Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates.