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Almost 8 months after it began, the U.S. military and Iraqi Security Forces have officially declared victory over ISIS in the siege of the jihadists’ stronghold of Mosul, a spokesman for Operation Inherent Resolve announced on July 10.
“The global Coalition fighting ISIS congratulates Prime Minister al-Abadi and the Iraqi Security Forces on their historic victory against a brutal and evil enemy,” OIR commander Lt. Gen. Stephen Townsend said in a statement.
The announcement by OIR came less than two weeks after ISF troops seized the 850-year-old Grand al-Nuri Mosque, where ISIS proclaimed its so-called “caliphate” almost exactly three years ago. The taking of the symbolic building prompted ISF spokesman Brig. Gen. Yahya Rasool to say of ISIS that “their fictitious state has fallen.”
Earlier on July 10, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi had declared “the end and the failure and the collapse of the terrorist state of falsehood and terrorism which the terrorist Daesh announced from Mosul," Reuters reported.
The official liberation of Mosul comes amid increasing momentum for the U.S.-led coalition. As President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin met at the G20 Summit in Hamburg, Germany, on July 7, the Pentagon announced a ceasefire deal brokered in cooperation with the Russian Defense Ministry regarding southwestern Syria, the site of increasing clashes between OIR personnel and pro-regime Syrian forces that have threatened to distract coalition forces from their focus on ISIS.
With a close of operations against ISIS in Mosul and fewer incursions by pro-regime goons at deconfliction zones like the At Tanf, the U.S. can now refocus its efforts entirely on exterminating ISIS in war-torn Syria.
ISIS militants have scattered to spider-holes in smaller villages across Iraq, while the bulk of the terror group’s remaining forces are surrounded in their “capital” of Raqqa by Syrian Democratic Forces, Kurdish fighters, and M777 howitzer-toting Marines. It appears the coalition may finally succeed in flushing the jihadists from major cities.
“Make no mistake: this victory alone does not eliminate ISIS and there is still a tough fight ahead,” Townshend added. “But the loss of one of its twin capitals and the jewel of the so-called caliphate is a decisive blow.”
The command chief of the 20th Fighter Wing at Shaw Air Force Base, South Carolina, was removed from his position last month after his chain of command received evidence he disrespected his subordinates.
Editor's Note: The following is an op-ed. The opinions expressed are those of the author, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Task & Purpose.
The "suck it up and drive on" mentality permeated our years in the U.S. military and often led us to delay getting both physical and mental health care. As veterans, we now understand that engaging in effective care enables us not just to survive but to thrive. Crucially, the path to mental wellness, like any serious journey, isn't accomplished in a day — and just because you need additional or recurring mental health care doesn't mean your initial treatment failed.
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg has called on the security alliance's allies to maintain and strengthen their "unity," saying the organization is "the only guarantor of European and transatlantic security."
Stoltenberg told reporters on November 19 that NATO "has only grown stronger over the last 70 years" despite "differences" among the allies on issues such as trade, climate, the Iran nuclear deal, and the situation in northeastern Syria.
He was speaking at the alliance's headquarters in Brussels on the eve of a NATO foreign ministers meeting aimed at finalizing preparations for next month's summit in London.
WASHINGTON — More than $35 million of the roughly $400 million in aid to Ukraine that President Donald Trump delayed, sparking the impeachment inquiry, has not been released to the country, according to a Pentagon spending document obtained by the Los Angeles Times.
Instead, the defense funding for Ukraine remains in U.S. accounts, according to the document. It's not clear why the money hasn't been released, and members of Congress are demanding answers.
The admiral in charge of Navy special operators will decide whether to revoke the tridents for Eddie Gallagher and other SEALs involved in the Navy's failed attempt to prosecute Gallagher for murder, a defense official said Tuesday.
The New York Times' David Philipps first reported on Tuesday that the Navy could revoke the SEAL tridents for Gallagher as well as his former platoon commander Lt. Jacob Portier and two other SEALs: Lt. Cmdr. Robert Breisch and Lt. Thomas MacNeil.
The four SEALs will soon receive a letter that they have to appear before a board that will consider whether their tridents should be revoked, a defense official told Task & Purpose on condition of anonymity.