Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve
|Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve|
|Participant in the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017), and the War on Terror|
Seal of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve
|Active||10 October 2014 – present|
(4 years, 9 months, 1 week and 4 days)
|Founding leader||United States Central Command|
|Current Commander||Lt G. Paul LaCamera|
|Deputy Commander-Strategy and Support||Maj. Gen. Christopher Ghika|
|Deputy Commander-Operations and Intelligence||Maj. Gen. Chad P. Franks|
|Chief of Staff||Maj. Gen. Xavier T. Brunson|
|Opponent(s)|| Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant|
|Battles and war(s)||International campaign against ISIL
Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is the Joint Task Force established by the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), set up by the US Central Command to coordinate military efforts against ISIL (Da'esh), and is composed of US military forces and personnel from over 30 countries. The stated aim of CJTF–OIR is to "degrade and destroy" ISIL. Its establishment by US Central Command was announced in December 2014, after it was set up to replace the ad hoc arrangements that had previously been established to coordinate operations following the rapid gains made by ISIL in Iraq in June. Formed in October 2014, its first "coalition integration conference" was held the first week of December 2014. Current operations are named Operation Inherent Resolve by the United States Department of Defense. Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, the current coalition commander, expressed his intent to root out ISIL from the major cities of Syria by the end of his rotation as commander, a promise that was fulfilled in 2019, with the loss of ISIL control over all cities and urban settlements in Syria.
While ground forces were also deployed in various roles (special forces raids, trainers, advisers, artillery, spotters), the bulk of CJTF-OIR's combat operations took the form of an air war against the Islamic State. The countries that directly participated in this part of the campaign were the United States (accounting for 75-80% of airstrikes on its own), Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom. By the end of 2017, CJTF-OIR stated that over 80,000 ISIL fighters had been killed by their airstrikes. The coalition also provided $3.5 billion in military equipment to the Iraqi military, provided billions more to Peshmerga, and trained 189,000 Iraqi soldiers and police.
NATO's resources are also used by CJTF-OIR, and while the operation is not taking place under the NATO banner, the coalition has pointed out that all 29 members of the military alliance are also contributors to CJTF-OIR.
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As of August 2016[update], U.S. Army lieutenant general Stephen J. Townsend commands CJTF-OIR in an appointment which consolidates three commander's tasks. Townsend has two deputies, a British Army officer, Major General Rupert Jones, who is currently serving as CJTF-OIR Deputy Commander-Strategy and Sustainment, and a U.S. Air Force officer, Major General Scott A. Kindsvater, who is currently serving as CJTF-OIR Deputy Commander-Operations and Intelligence. CJTF-OIR's headquarters is at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and includes approximately 500 personnel from 15 nations who are involved in coordinating operations in Iraq.
A dozen countries not involved in combat operations still contribute to Capacity Building Mission Iraq effort in Iraq. Those who have announced their participation in the program, which trains Iraqi security forces, include the United States, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia, Spain, and the United Kingdom. As a result of the BPC program, nearly 6,500 Iraqi forces completed training, with approximately 4,500 currently in training.
From August 2014 to August 2015, coalition aircraft flew a total of 45,259 sorties, with the U.S. Air Force flying the majority (67%), and dropped more than 5,600 bombs. At the time, The Guardian reported that a team of independent journalists had published details of 52 airstrikes which killed more than 450 civilians. The coalition acknowledged only 2 non-combatant deaths.
On December 22, 2018, three days after Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw all its troops from Syria, Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition against ISIL, announced his resignation from his post.
In April 2019, a joint investigation by Amnesty International and Airwars reported that 1,600 civilians were killed by coalition airstrikes and U.S. artillery shelling during the four-month battle to capture the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIL in 2017. The Coalition states it conducted 34,464 strikes against ISIL targets between August 8, 2014 and end of March 2019, and unintentionally killed at least 1,291 civilians.
In June of 2019, United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Mulroy said "Five years ago, ISIS controlled approximately 55,000 square kilometers and more than 4 million people in Iraq lived under their oppressive rule, Now they do not. The Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve continues to help train and equip 28 Iraqi brigades comprising thousands of soldiers. The more capable Iraq's security institutions, the more resilient Iraq will be in the face of malign foreign actors bent on coercion and exploitation." 
- International Security Assistance Force (ISAF)
- Multi-National Force – Iraq (MNF–I)
- Islamist terrorism in Europe (2014–present)
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- Nations providing all forms of support, including direct participation in combat operations.
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Participants commended the efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces in fighting ISIL/Daesh, and noted that ISIL/Daesh’s finances and recruitment are also increasingly being challenged through international cooperation. Participants affirmed, however, that a successful campaign against ISIL/Daesh will take time, and will require a sustained, united, and coordinated response. Participants reiterated their long-term commitment to this effort.
- Nations providing military materiel, economic aid, advisers, trainers, and other forms of support, but not directly participating in combat operations.
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"New Operation Inherent Resolve commander continues fight against ISIL". U.S. Army. 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-10-20.
Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of XVIII Airborne Corps based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, assumed command of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve during a transfer of authority ceremony on Monday August 21.
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