A new US Inspector General report is out covering US anti-ISIS coalition operations.
This is the 18th Lead Inspector General (Lead IG) report on Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR), the overseas contingency operation to combat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). The report covers the period April 1, 2019 to June 30, 2019, and summarizes the quarter’s key events and describes completed, ongoing, and planned Lead IG and partner agency oversight work related to OIR.
During the quarter, ISIS continued its transition from a territory-holding force to an insurgency in Syria and solidified insurgent capabilities in Iraq. According to the Combined Joint Task Force–OIR (CJTF-OIR), ISIS carried out assassinations, suicide attacks, abductions, and arson of crops in both Iraq and Syria. In addition, ISIS established “resurgent cells” in Syria and sought to expand its command and control nodes in Iraq.
During the quarter, CJTF-OIR completed a partial withdrawal of U.S. forces from Syria, which it said decreased the support available to partner forces at a time when they needed training and equipping to respond to ISIS resurgent cells. CJTF-OIR reported that the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and U.S.-backed Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF) were unable to sustain long-term operations against ISIS militants. It said that in Iraq, the ISF often lacks the ability to maintain hold forces in territory cleared of ISIS militants, while in Syria, the SDF was “initially limited” in personnel, equipment, and intelligence to confront ISIS’s resurgent cells.
A full PDF can be downloaded here