“Brussels Attacks Heighten Need to Defeat ISIL”
By Terri Moon Cronk
DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, March 31, 2016 — The cowardly terror attacks the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant claims it leveled on Brussels, Belgium, earlier this month highlight the critical need to defeat the extremists, the strategy and sustainment deputy commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve said today.
In a weekly update on counter-ISIL operations in Iraq and Syria, British Army Maj. Gen. Doug Chalmers told Pentagon reporters via teleconference from Baghdad that the mission remains steadfast in the coalition’s resolve to defeat ISIL.
“[ISIL’s] violent, extremist ideology and ambition to expand must be stopped,” he said.
The U.S.-led coalition will prevail in the tough fight, the deputy commander said, adding that achievements are visible every day as the coalition helps ground forces weaken ISIL.
Coalition Offers Diverse Capabilities
As coalition partners enhance their efforts to train, equip and advise Iraqi security forces, Iraqi police forces are training to enable the Iraqi government to hold ground as security forces liberate areas from ISIL control.
“Leveraging the unique capabilities of the different nations of the coalition that are directly contributing to the military campaign gives us real strength as a mission of many nations in achieving these tasks,” Chalmers said.
As the Iraqi security forces prepare to isolate and retake the key Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIL control, coalition airstrikes are putting pressure on all facets of ISIL operations inside the city, including the group’s headquarters, finances, weapons manufacturing sites and propaganda sites, Chalmers said.
“We are working closely with the Iraqi security forces to identify opportunities,” he said, citing specialized training, river crossings with mobile bridges, police training, logistics support and the provision of fire support as examples of that cooperation.
ISIL Movement Restricted
Synchronized ground operations in Iraq and Syria make it harder for ISIL to move freely and resupply its reinforcements, the deputy commander said.
“We firmly believe the momentum is now on our side, and we will do all that we can to enhance counter-[ISIL] operations where we can,” Chalmers added. “The resolve of the coalition continues to grow as we all share the same objective of defeating [ISIL] in Iraq and Syria.”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)