Get Task & Purpose in your inbox
Iraqi Army Is Finally Gaining Ground Against ISIS In Ramadi
The Iraqi military announced on Dec. 28 that its forces seized a key government complex in the western city of Ramadi, Iraq, following a weeklong battle with Islamic State forces. The seizure of the government complex was both a tactical and symbolic victory for Iraqi forces.
According to The New York Times, the capture of the city center places the Iraqi army within reach of a victory in Ramadi and could mean the end of the Islamic State’s seven-month occupation of the capital city of Anbar province.
“The security forces have entered the governmental buildings and raised the Iraqi flags over them after killing many ISIS militants, and the rest have escaped,” said Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool in an article by The New York Times.
There have been reports that pockets of resistance remain in as much as 30% of the city and supporters of the Islamic State took to Twitter to dismiss claims that Ramadi was about to fall.
"It's been a great operational day," said U.S. Army Col. Steve Warren, a spokesman for the American-led coalition against the Islamic State, according to a news report by USA Today. "We're hitting them with combination punches now. They're getting hit in multiple places simultaneously. That said, the war's not over. There's plenty of fighting left to be done. But we're seeing good signs."
The remaining fighters fled the compound around midday on Dec. 27 after being encircled by Iraqi counterterrorism forces, police and Sunni tribesmen, and supported by American airstrikes.
"What this shows is that the Iraqis have moved from an army that folded on initial contact in the summer of '14 to an army that has been able to conduct a complex operation in a large, built-up area," said Warren. "This is the biggest thing the Iraqi army has done. Period."
Currently, security forces are attempting to remove the improvised explosive devices that Islamic State fighters left in their wake, reports The New York Times, and there are concerns that suicide bombers and snipers might still remain in the area.
Just days earlier in Syria, U.S.-backed Kurdish fighters took control of a key dam, severing supply lines between the Islamic State’s proclaimed capital, Raqqa, and militant fighters on the Turkish border.
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. Defense Secretary Mark Esper said on Friday that no U.S. troops will take part in enforcing the so-called safe zone in northern Syria and the United States "is continuing our deliberate withdrawal from northeastern Syria."
Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan earlier on Friday said Turkey will set up a dozen observation posts across northeast Syria, insisting that a planned "safe zone" will extend much further than U.S. officials said was covered under a fragile ceasefire deal.
On Tuesday at the Association of the U.S. Army's annual conference, Army families had the opportunity to tell senior leaders exactly what was going on in their worlds — an opportunity that is, unfortunately, all too rare.
A new documentary series about Clint Lorance pits the infantry officer convicted of murder against his former soldiers
The fog of war, just kills, and war crimes are the focus of a new documentary series coming to STARZ. Titled Leavenworth, the five-part series profiles 1st Lt. Clint Lorance, the Army infantry officer who was convicted on murder charges for ordering his soldiers to fire on three unarmed Afghan men on a motorcycle, killing two and wounding the third, while deployed to the Zhari district in Kandahar province, on July 2, 2012.
A big stereotype surrounding U.S. service members and veterans is that they are defined only by their military service, from buying "Dysfunctional Veteran" t-shirts to playing hard-boiled, high-octane first-person shooters like Battlefield and Call of Duty (we honestly have no idea where anyone could get that impression).
But the folks at OSD (formerly called Operation Supply Drop), a non-profit veteran service organization that aims to help troops and vets connect with each other through free video games, service programs and other activities, recently found that most of the gamers they've served actually prefer less military-centric fare like sports games and fantasy RPGs.
CEYLANPINAR, Turkey (Reuters) - Shelling could be heard at the Syrian-Turkish border on Friday morning despite a five-day ceasefire agreed between Turkey and the United States, and Washington said the deal covered only a small part of the territory Ankara aims to seize.
Reuters journalists at the border heard machine-gun fire and shelling and saw smoke rising from the Syrian border battlefield city of Ras al Ain, although the sounds of fighting had subsided by mid-morning.
The truce, announced on Thursday by U.S. Vice President Mike Pence after talks in Ankara with Turkish President Tayyip Erdogan, sets out a five-day pause to let the Kurdish-led SDF militia withdraw from an area controlled by Turkish forces.
The SDF said air and artillery attacks continued to target its positions and civilian targets in Ral al Ain.
"Turkey is violating the ceasefire agreement by continuing to attack the town since last night," SDF spokesman Mustafa Bali tweeted.
The Kurdish-led administration in the area said Turkish truce violations in Ras al Ain had caused casualties, without giving details.