The Global Coalition is committed to defeating and destroying Daesh by denying it safe haven and by building the military capacity of those on the front line, including the Iraqi government, to lead the fight against Daesh. Over the last year, the Global Coalition against Daesh has intensified that effort and has made significant progress in its campaign to degrade and destroy this abhorrent terrorist group.
Through a combination of counter-terrorist military strikes, advising and assisting the Iraqi government to plan and execute ground operations against Daesh, training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces, and through training appropriately vetted opposition forces in Syria, the Coalition has helped local partners push Daesh out of 40% of populated territory it once controlled in Iraq and more than 10% of the populated territory it once controlled in Syria.
Coalition airstrikes and special operations have degraded Daesh’s capabilities, limiting their freedom of movement, constraining their ability to reinforce their fighters, destroying their infrastructure, reducing their ability to generate financial support and impeding their command and control. Coalition air operations have provided cover necessary for local forces to advance steadily against Daesh. This approach has seen success, with Daesh forced out of the Syrian town of Kobane in January 2015, Tikrit in March, Tal Abyad in June, Hasakah city in August and Bayji, al-Hawl and Sinjar in November, and most importantly, Ramadi at the end of December, overwhelmed by Iraqi ground forces supported by Coalition airstrikes.
13 Coalition members have conducted over 10,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria. These strikes have removed thousands of Daesh fighters from the battlefield and destroyed thousands of pieces of Daesh’s military equipment. Turkey’s agreement to open its bases to Coalition aircraft has increased the Coalition’s pressure on Daesh, including support of local anti-Daesh forces in north-western Syria. 19 Coalition partners have provided supporting aircraft, including transport, surveillance and aerial re-fuelling capabilities to the Coalition’s efforts in Iraq and Syria.
The Coalition is also contributing significant resources, equipment, and personnel to training local partners to lead the fight against Daesh. 18 countries have deployed over 5,500 personnel to support training and equipping Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) at Building Partner Capacity (BPC) sites in Iraq. Others are donating equipment, ammunition and airlift capability. So far, the Coalition has trained over 17,000 ISF. Six Coalition partners have also contributed to training and equipping Syrians to enable counter-Daesh operations by opposition forces in northwest Syria.
Critically, the Coalition’s military effort has made significant progress in degrading Daesh’s ability to benefit from energy resources. The Coalition has conducted 68 airstrikes in Syria as part of Operation Tidal Wave II, targeting oil infrastructure, supply lines, and hundreds of tanker trucks that transit oil directly from Daesh. Coalition strikes have reduced Daesh’s oil revenue by approximately 30% since November 2015, making an important contribution to the Coalition’s efforts to tackle Daesh’s economic infrastructure.