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U.S. Department of Defense Defense News Lead Photo Update

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Memories of a Comrade
07/26/2016 07:00 PM CDT

A Korean War veteran looks for the name of a fallen comrade during the National Korean War Veterans Armistice Day ceremony at the New Jersey Korean Veterans War Memorial in Brighton Park, Atlantic City, N.J., July 27, 2016. Air National Guard photo by Tech. Sgt. Matt Hecht

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Officials Provide Details of Latest Counter-ISIL Strikes in Syria, Iraq

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Officials Provide Details of Latest Counter-ISIL Strikes in Syria, Iraq
07/31/2016 08:52 AM CDT

Officials Provide Details of Latest Counter-ISIL Strikes in Syria, Iraq

From a Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve News Release

SOUTHWEST ASIA, July 31, 2016 — U.S. and coalition military forces continued to attack Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists in Syria and Iraq yesterday, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials reported today.

Officials reported details of yesterday’s strikes, noting that assessments of results are based on initial reports.

Strikes in Syria

Attack, fighter, and remotely piloted aircraft conducted 12 strikes in Syria:

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Calm Before Storm as Counter-ISIL Coalition Plans Mosul Offensive

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Calm Before Storm as Counter-ISIL Coalition Plans Mosul Offensive
07/31/2016 08:32 AM CDT

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Peshmerga soldiers prepare for an anticipated attack along simulated front lines during training at the Manila Training Center in northern Iraq, July 26, 2016. Training included day and night defensive operations, movement to contact, and assaults on enemy-held objectives. The training marked the completion of the eight-week modern brigade course conducted by the coalition-led Kurdistan Training Coordination Center, a key piece of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve’s multinational effort to train Iraqi security forces personnel to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Army Photo by Maj. Allen Hill

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Calm Before Storm as Counter-ISIL Coalition Plans Mosul Offensive

By Jim Garamone

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

BAGHDAD, July 31, 2016 — Right now there is a tactical pause in Iraq, but not an operational pause, Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve officials said on background today.

Officials briefed the press traveling with Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who is meeting with U.S. and Iraqi leaders here about the counter-ISIL campaign.

Iraqi security forces and partnered forces in Syria have made unmistakable gains against the Islamic State of Levant and the Levant, officials said. Iraqi forces have bridged the Tigris River near Qayyarah and secured the airfield there. In Anbar province, Iraqi forces are pushing west, clearing pockets of ISIL fighters as they move toward Qaim. That city is on the border with Syria.

Coalition Cooperation

Coalition airpower has been decisive in the campaign. Strikes have constrained resources and hit key leaders. In coordination with indigenous forces, they are pressuring ISIL and taking territory from the terrorist group, officials said.

Coalition trainers are also doing their parts. More than 27,000 Iraqi security forces have been trained and equipped by the coalition. There are approximately 4,500 Americans in the theater and more than 2,800 coalition partners. There are more than 60 countries in the coalition.

In Syria, the coalition is providing “logistic assistance, advice and a little bit of training” to Syrian democratic forces. In Syria, anti-ISIL forces are also making progress. The ISIL stronghold of Manbij is now surrounded and that is cutting the number of foreign fighters that are able to get into Syria and Iraq.

Facing the growing coalition is about 20,000 to 27,000 ISIL fighters, officials said, adding that the number of foreign fighters is reduced, but it is hard to assess.

“At the heyday, we think about 2,000 a month were coming in to Syria. We think 200 to 500 are coming in per month now,” an official said. “We have not assessed this since cutting off Manbij.”

Mosul is the ISIL headquarters in Iraq, and Raqqa is its headquarters in Syria — and those two cities are where the largest portions of the ISIL units remain.

Operations in Iraq are aimed at retaking Mosul — Iraq’s second-largest city.

Qayyarah West airfield has been seized and planners expect that will become the logistics hub for the operation against ISIL forces in Mosul. Iraqi forces also put in a bridge across the Tigris in the strategic region that connect two major Iraqi units: the 9th Division on the west side of the river and the 15th on the east. It is the only bridge across the river in the region and ISIL forces have to depend on small boats to ferry across, leaving them open to attack.

Still it is difficult because civilians also need to cross the river and officials are careful to hit ISIL boats and not carrying non-combatants, officials said. “It is not a free fire zone,” an official said.

Prep Steps

With all this accomplished, there is a tactical pause in Iraq. Part of this is the environment; it is typically over 120 degrees in the summer, and officials said the fighting seasons are traditionally in the spring and fall.

Another part is the Iraqi security forces are generating the forces needed to take Mosul. Officials estimate they will need between eight and 12 brigades to assault the city.

“We are at a point right now with the campaign, where the campaign is not tied to the speed of our partners’ operations on the ground,” an official said. “We’ve got enough to hit [during] the shaping operations toward Mosul and then against ISIL writ large. We’ve got plenty of things to bomb even if they take an extra day.”

While Iraqi forces are refitting and training for the operation in Mosul, the campaign doesn’t stop. The operation against ISIL in Mosul is conditions-based and won’t begin until all is ready.

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General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr.
General Joseph F. Dunford, Jr. is the 19th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the nation’s

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160728-N-NG512-003.JPG Canadian army Brig. Gen. David Anderson, director of the coalition’s ministerial liaison team for Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, left, and British army Maj. Gen. Doug Chalmers, the coalition’s deputy commander of strategy and sustainment, right, speak to the Iraqi leaders of a vehicle maintenance facility during a logistics symposium at Camp Taji, Iraq, July 28, 2016. Army photo by 1st Lt. Daniel Johnson
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U.S. Department of Defense Armed with Science Update

You are subscribed to Armed with Science for U.S. Department of Defense. This information has recently been updated, and is now available. Army Releases Disaster Response Video Game
07/31/2016 09:00 AM CDT

A new Army video game is taking soldiers into the heart of foreign disaster zones and delivering real-world training from their laptop or tablet.
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Special Report: Travels With Dunford

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Special Report: Travels With Dunford

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, is traveling to Iraq to meet with leaders and get an assessment of coalition efforts to degrade and defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant. Click to learn more in the Defense.gov special report: Travels With Dunford.

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Dunford Arrives in Baghdad for Counter-ISIL Talks

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Dunford Arrives in Baghdad for Counter-ISIL Talks
07/30/2016 03:23 PM CDT

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Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, talks with Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, commander of Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve, at the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad, July 30, 2016. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

(Click photo for screen-resolution image);high-resolution image available.

Dunford Arrives in Baghdad for Counter-ISIL Talks

By Jim Garamone

DoD News, Defense Media Activity

BAGHDAD, July 30, 2016 — Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford arrived here today for talks with Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve leaders on the status of the counter-ISIL campaign.

The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff is making his fifth visit to the region since he was confirmed in October 2015. Combatting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant has been on of the focuses of Dunford’s tenure.

Dunford is meeting with U.S. Ambassador to Iraq Stuart Jones and his country team and with Army Lt. Gen. Sean McFarland, the OIR commander. The Army’s 3rd Corps

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U.S. Department of Defense Defense News Lead Photo Update

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Chairman’s Greeting
07/29/2016 07:00 PM CDT

Marine Corps Gen. Joe Dunford, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, speaks with service members after arriving in Baghdad, July 30, 2016. DoD photo by Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class Dominique A. Pineiro

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