Iraqi forces regained control of the key city of Hit, while
a "tough fight" remains in the Tigris River Valley, the spokesman for
Operation Inherent Resolve said today.
"Last week in the Euphrates River Valley, Iraqi
security forces tore Hit from ISIL’s grasp and gave it back to the Iraqi
people. Hit is liberated," Army Col. Steve Warren told Pentagon reporters
in a teleconference from Baghdad.
Clearing Hit disrupts the ability of the Islamic State of
Iraq and the Levant to move foreign fighters and supplies into the Euphrates
River Valley, the colonel said, and it sets the stage for future offensive
Warren highlighted the close coordination between the Iraqi
army, the Iraqi counter terrorism service and Sunni tribal forces.
The operational achievements in the fight are a direct
result of the coalition's commitment to train and equip partner forces, Warren
In the Tigris River Valley, Iraqi forces repelled several
"Iraqi security forces continue to consolidate and
improve their defensive positions while continuing to increase their combat
power," Warren said.
In other developments, U.S. forces on Sunday conducted a
raid that targeted Suleiman Abd Shabib al-Jabouri, a ISIL military emir and war
"His removal will degrade ISIL leadership's network,
and impact its ability to coordinate attacks and defend ISIL strong
holds," Warren said.
First B-52 Mission Against ISIL Targets
Warren said the U.S. Air Force's B-52 Stratofortress bomber,
which was deployed into theater earlier this month, conducted its first mission
against ISIL Monday. It targeted an ISIL weapons storage facility in Qayyarah,
The B-52 will conduct the "same type of precision
strikes that we've seen for the last 20 months here in this theater," the
Vetted Syrian opposition forces continue to clash with ISIL
along the Mara Line, Warren said. He described the situation as a "shoving
match" over the Manbij pocket.
"We will continue to pressure ISIL but we expect them
to fight hard to hold their ground," he said.
Warren said the area is strategically important, explaining
that sealing it off will cut ISIL's final line of communication and supply line
between Turkey and Syria.
The situation in the area has become a "fairly fluid
and dynamic fight," according to Warren.
Army Officer Recognized for Actions
Warren commended the actions of U.S. Army Capt. Bradley
Grimm, who is assigned to Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve
Grimm provided actionable intelligence about a bomb threat
against a school in Denmark, Warren said. For his exceptional actions, Denmark
honored the officer with the Danish Defense Medal for Special Meritorious
"The information he provided helped to foil the plot
and resulted in an arrest and the confiscation of explosives," Warren
said. "Brad’s work likely saved the lives of Danish citizens."
(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter @FerdinandoDoD)