Operations to rid Iraq and Syria of ISIS remnants are well underway, said Colonel Sean Ryan, Spokesperson for Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve.
In Iraq, operations by the Iraqi Security Forces, or ISF, are securing the country and pursuing ISIS remnants in the remote deserts of Anbar and in the mountains of Kirkuk, Diyala and Salah ad-Din, said Colonel Ryan. The ISF continues to locate, identify and destroy ISIS remnants in addition to securing roads and infrastructure from attacks by malign actors.
In the first week of August alone, the operations conducted by the ISF across Iraq led to the arrest of more than 50 suspected terrorists, and 500 Improvised Explosive Devices, or IEDs, and munitions.
Additionally, the ISF continues to clear and secure central infrastructure such as the busy roads of Irbil and Kirkuk, Hawija, Samarra, Salah ad-Din and the region’s power structure, which was subject to a number of ISIS terror attacks recently.
In Syria, said Colonel Ryan, coalition forces and partners are preparing for phase three of Operation Roundup whose ground offensive has not yet begun. Operation Roundup is an effort to accelerate the defeat of ISIS in the last territory they hold in the Euphrates River Valley.
As the Syrian Defense Forces, or SDF, are preparing for the offensive, they are also providing safe passage for civilians leaving Hajin, the last ISIS stronghold in the Euphrates River Valley and assuring that ISIS fighters attempting to flee the area are apprehended.
In the remainder of Northeast Syria, local security forces are securing cities through law enforcement and counter-IED activities enabling civilian stabilization efforts to continue and preventing the resurgence of ISIS.
Finally, stabilization efforts across Iraq and Syria continue to prevent the return of conditions under which ISIS arose. In Iraq, the government is working to improve living conditions across the country by addressing areas of greatest need, particularly in rebuilding infrastructure damaged by the fight against ISIS and providing access to daily necessities such as electricity and water.
In Syria, stabilization efforts are focused on saving lives, demining, water, electricity and the delivery of necessities.
The United States and its allies are committed to not only driving ISIS out of Iraq and Syria but making it impossible for them ever to return.