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Progress Continues in Defeating ISIS, Coalition Official Says


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U.S. soldiers and Iraqi Security Force fire a howitzer at known Islamic State of Iraq and Syria locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 5, 2018. The soldiers are assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV

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By Lisa Ferdinando

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

The coalition and its partnered forces in Iraq and Syria continue to make progress in the effort to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, the coalition’s senior French representative said today.

Brig. Gen. Frederic Parisot of the French air force, the director of civil-military operations for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, provided an operational update briefing to Pentagon reporters today via videoconference from Baghdad.

Coalition strikes in April and June killed six high-value terrorist leaders responsible for planning terror operations overseas, Parisot announced. He credited the Syrian Democratic Forces, the Iraqi security forces and the coalition for the progress in defeating the terrorists.

“Thanks to the operations conducted by the SDF, ISF and the coalition, we are stopping [ISIS] from being able to conduct terror across the world and degrading the ability to plan and finance such operations,” he said.

In a news release, the coalition said the removal of the six terrorists has prevented ISIS’ external attack planning, facilitation and operations targeting Saudi Arabia, Sweden and the United States.

The release says those killed were a Syrian-based ISIS member planning attacks in Saudi Arabia; a Belgian foreign fighter who came to Syria to plan attacks against the United States and its interests; and four people linked to a Swedish attack plot.

Focus on ISIS Defeat

Parisot detailed other progress in the fight, including the Iraqi security forces working with Kurdish peshmerga fighters in joint operations to clear an area in the mountains near Kirkuk, Iraq.

Additionally, along Iraq’s western border, the Iraqi forces continue to prevent terrorists from pouring into Iraq while the coalition continues to provide intelligence, overwatch and fire support to partner force on the ground, he said.

Parisot pointed out that Operation Roundup is in its 84th day of activating the offensive to defeat ISIS remnants in the Middle Euphrates River Valley. He noted the recent liberation of Dashishah in Syria, which was among the last terrorist strongholds in the area.

“Thanks to the combined SDF ground offensive, strikes by coalition and Iraqi forces and border security operation by the ISF, Dashishah has been freed after four years of tyrannical [ISIS] rule,” he said.

Fight to ‘Finally Rid the World’ of ISIS

France is steadfast in its support to the coalition, Parisot said, highlighting the strikes French forces have conducted operations as well as providing the training and other support French forces provide toward the defeat-ISIS effort.

“My country knows firsthand the horrific acts that [ISIS] is willing and capable of committing, and that's why we will remain committed to this fight,” he said.

He said the 1,100 French forces in Iraq, Kuwait, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates are working side by side with coalition nations at the forefront of efforts to defeat ISIS.

“France is honored to stand among the 72 nations and five international organizations that comprise the most successful international coalition ever formed,” he said. “We remain committed to the fight to finally rid the world of [ISIS] once and for all”

(Follow Lisa Ferdinando on Twitter: @FerdinandoDoD)

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U.S. soldiers and Iraqi Security Force fire a howitzer at known Islamic State of Iraq and Syria locations near the Iraqi-Syrian border, June 5, 2018. The soldiers are assigned to the 3rd Cavalry Regiment. Army photo by Spc. Anthony Zendejas IV
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