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NEWS | Dec. 9, 2021

Combat role in Iraq complete; invitation from Iraq reaffirmed to advise, assist, enable

By Staff Report JOINT OPERATIONS COMMAND

Combined Joint Task Force – Inherent Resolve, the international force charged with maintaining the enduring defeat of Daesh, announced today that it has completed its transition to a non-combat mission before year’s end as agreed. The new mission is to advise, assist, and enable Iraqi forces.

“Tomorrow, we join the people of Iraq in celebrating the fourth anniversary of the victory over Daesh,” said Maj. Gen. John W. Brennan, Jr., commander of CJTF-OIR. “Many brave men and women gave their lives to ensure Daesh never returns, and as we complete our combat role, we will remain here to advise, assist, and enable the ISF, at the invitation of Republic of Iraq. We are confident that the fruits of our strong partnership will ensure Daesh will not reconstitute and threaten the Iraqi people.”

Iraqi Staff Lt. Gen. Abdul Amir al-Shammari, deputy commander of the Joint Operations Command for Iraq, said that the transition postures Iraqi forces for success, and the transition occurred ahead of schedule.

“Today, we renew our partnership with the Coalition, who are now serving in a new capacity – with a mission to advise, assist, and enable our brave military warriors,” said al-Shammari. “Our soldiers have demonstrated their ability to maintain the defeat of Daesh, and we look toward the future with hope, providing stability, security, and prosperity for the men and women of Iraq.”

The announcement came at the conclusion of today’s Military Technical Talks, a series of discussions that followed the Joint Dialogue between the governments of the United States and Iraq on July 26, 2021.

According to the agreement, there would be no U.S. forces with a combat role in Iraq by December 31, 2021.  Iraqi forces, operating on Iraqi bases, protect Coalition personnel who are invited guests. While Coalition personnel do not have a combat role, they maintain the inherent right of self-defense.

The Coalition, joined with Iraqi forces, remains a formidable, enabling force, said Brennan, who noted that Daesh’s 40,000 fighters once terrorized 8 million people under 110,000 square kilometers in Iraq and Syria. 

“We have come a long way since the Coalition answered the call for help,” said Brennan. “In this new phase, our transformative partnership with Iraq symbolizes the need for constant vigilance. Daesh is down, but not out. We will advise and assist our partner forces to enable the protection of the people of Iraq.”

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Attendees at a defense attaché forum hosted by Combined Joint Task Force - Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) pose for a photo July 19, 2022, in Baghdad, Iraq. The defense attaché forum brought together defense attachés from several Global Coalition countries as well as representatives from CJTF-OIR and interagency partners to discuss topics including the need for increased repatriation and reintegration of displaced persons in northeast Syria to reduce ISIS influence in those vulnerable populations; the threat of ISIS members in detention centers operated by Syrian Democratic Forces in northeast Syria; and the need for greater international action to address these ongoing security and humanitarian challenges. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Brian Reed)
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