The offensive against ISIS continues in Iraq

ISIS

The offensive against ISIS continues in Iraq, in particular in Diyala and Kirkuk. Objective: to destroy the great pocket of resistance of the jihadists which recently increased the attacks on the population. Inherent Resolve plays the card of the Joint Operational Command Advisor Team (JOCAT) against Isis in Iraq. It is a team of 58 international military advisers, coming from ten nations of the Coalition, who will be part of all the staff commands – from regional to national staffs – to provide advice to local forces against militias IS in various military sectors.

From intelligence to air operations, support, through fire coordination and planning. Its constitution is one of the pillars of the new Coalition strategy in the Middle Eastern country, which focuses on the reduction of military personnel and the sale of several bases, but more specialized training with the first training transferred to the NATO mission.

To achieve these objectives, the Military Assistance Group (MAG) was born. The new structure aims to deepen – both centrally and locally – tactical and strategic aspects essential for the long-term success of the anti-Daesh campaign. MAG includes military advisers from 13 Coalition countries who work with local authorities in the area of Baghdad. The Brigadier General of the Marines, Ryan Rideout, lead the group.

The JOCAT, on the other hand, is commanded by the French colonel Laurent. The Joint Command, once it has reached its full operational capacity (FOC), will be composed of 26 elements. Ten will be added for each Operational Command Advisor Team (OCAT), the structures at the regional level that will be at least three. They will be trained and operate according to the specificities of geography, religions, and ethnic groups in Iraq, so that they can best integrate with both local forces and the population.

Meanwhile, Inherent Resolve has announced the opening of an anti-Isis advising center in Erbil. That will be added to the central one in Baghdad and will deal in particular with Iraqi Kurdistan, coordinating with the “mother” structure. Military and advisors from 15 nations will operate there, providing specialized support to the ISF in all phases of operations against IS.

From planning to execution. Its creation is part of the Coalition’s plan to reduce its military presence in the Middle Eastern country, reshaping it to meet local troops’ requests for targeted know-how. The US has just announced a further reduction of forces in Iraq, which in September should go from 5,200 to about 3,000.

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