Operation Inherent Resolve

Operation Inherent Resolve

Operation Inherent Resolve, the 68-nation mission to destroy ISIS, flew in fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed rebel group, behind enemy lines to a strategic dam. Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) is the U.S. 

Operation Inherent Resolve, the 68-nation mission to destroy ISIS, flew in fighters from the Syrian Democratic Forces, a US-backed rebel group, behind enemy lines to a strategic dam.

Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) is the U.S. military's operational name for the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS, in the vernacular, Daesh) including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria. Since 21 August 2016, the U.S. Army's XVIII Airborne Corps has been responsible for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).

Analysis

It takes a special breed of warrior to pull of an airborne operation or air assault behind enemy lines. Seizing Tabqah Dam will isolate Raqqah from three sides and give the SDF the strategic advantage and launching point needed for the liberation of the city.

But while the US says they're mainly backing local forces, they seem poised to take on a more active role with conventional forces fighting ISIS on the ground in Raqqa.

The Pentagon has been considering sending as many as 1,000 ground troops to help take back Raqqa from ISIS, which would signal a reversal of the Obama-era policy to fight ISIS via train and equip methods and airstrikes.

The coalition says they've conducted more than 300 airstrikes around Raqqa in the past month.

Assessment

U.S. forces are supporting a variety of Syrian forces focused on defeating ISIS. They Syrian Arab Coalition is composed of Arab fighters mixed with elements of the Syrian Democratic Forces and some Kurdish factions. The U.S. High Mobility Artillery Rocket System targeting ISIS, purportedly from a base near Kobani however, U.S. officials could only confirm that HIMARS were in support of the operation, but did not know if any rockets had actually been fired.  

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