Progress Against ISIS in Iraq and Syria

May 24, 2017

Pentagon Spokesman Captain Jeff Davis recently gave an update on the increasingly successful battle against ISIS in Syria and Iraq.

In northern Syria, he said, U.S. and coalition advisers continue their operations to defeat ISIS. The highly effective Syrian Democratic Forces, or SDF, are a multi-ethnic and multi-sectarian force that are fighting ISIS, often to liberate their own hometowns in northern Syria. The U.S. is providing training and equipment to the Syrian Arab Coalition, which is a predominantly Arab component of the SDF.

Syrian Democratic Forces female fighters run with children in the town of Tabqa, Syria, after SDF captured it from Islamic State militants this week, May 12, 2017

Coalition-supported forces have retaken more than 45 percent of the territory ISIS had seized in Syria, and within this territory, liberated over 1.4 million people in Syria. The SDF, said Captain Davis, “have not been matched by any other partner, any other party or player on the ground in terms of their ability to defeat ISIS and reclaim territory and liberate it.”

Tabqa, a city along the Euphrates River, was liberated recently by the SDF as was the Tabqa Dam, the largest hydroelectric plant in Syria. The recapture of these two sites is important in preparation for isolating Raqqa, the capital of ISIS' self-proclaimed caliphate.

In Iraq, the battle to regain control of West Mosul continues.With each passing day, ISIS control over western Mosul is getting smaller and smaller and is now limited to the old city of western Mosul and the area immediately surrounding it to the west and the north. The progress there by Iraqi Security Forces has been substantial, said Captain Davis.

Iraqi Security Forces continue to make progress against stiff resistance in West Mosul. These Iraqi Security Forces are supported international coalition combat advisors, as well as air and artillery strikes, intelligence and logistical support, and training to enhance the long-term effectiveness of the Iraqi Security Forces. The U.S. and Coalition forces have trained more than 100,000 members of the Iraqi Security Forces and over 10,000 Iraqi police to date. As a result, they are successfully dismantling the lethal network of traps, improvised explosive devices, and fortifications that have been left behind in Mosul.

The U.S. and its coalition partners are dealing ISIS a lasting defeat.