By Debbie Gregory.
The Pentagon has confirmed that the Islamic State in Iraq is moving some of its resources to Syria in order to reinforce its holdings. Airstrikes against the terrorist group, also commonly referred to as ISIS or ISIL, are having the desired effect.
Coalition ground forces consisting of Iraq’s military and Shiite and Kurdish militias are being backed by airstrikes, as well as military advisors from the U.S., the UK, and a collection of other Western, Middle-Eastern, and African nations. The airstrikes are taking a heavy toll on Islamic State assets, clearing the way for the ground forces to push ahead.
In Syria, the U.S. and Canada are joined by several Middle-Eastern nations to provide airstrikes and military advisors to the Syrian Opposition and Syrian Kurdistan, as they join forces with the Syrian government to fight against the Islamic State. Much like the gains being made in Iraq, the Syrian forces are starting to have an impact against the Islamic State. The terrorist group is pulling back some of its weapons and fighters from Iraq in order to try reinforce the holdings in Syria that are no longer secure.
There have been more than 3,200 airstrikes conducted in both Iraq and Syria. According to the Pentagon’s Chief of Staff of the military task force against the Islamic State, Marine Corps Brigadier General Thomas Weidley, the combined airstrikes and ground operations are forcing the Islamic State to relocate its resources to the Syrian theater.
Officials at the Pentagon have said that the campaign against the Islamic State is unfolding as expected. They knew it would be a long, difficult, but necessary undertaking. And while the Islamic State has not fully withdrawn into Syria, the coalition airstrikes are having an impact.
The U.S.-led coalition is nearing the completion of phase one of the campaign against the Islamic State, as stated by President Obama, to “degrade, dismantle and ultimately defeat” the terrorist group. Both the Islamic State’s forces and its territory has been degraded by coalition efforts.
Iraqi Security Forces have regained over 25 percent of territory from the Islamic State in Iraq. Once the coalition dismantles and defeats the Islamic State in Iraq, the focus can shift to Syria.
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Military Connection: ISIS Shifting Its Resources Into Syria: By Debbie Gregory