Here's how Iraqi and Kurdish forces are training to destroy ISIS
Earlier this month, a spokesman from the Combined Joint Task Force’s Operation Inherent Resolve said that ISIS lost 40% of their territory in Iraq and 20% in Syria. In December, Iraq’s armed forces recaptured the western city of Ramadi, paving the way for an expected assault on Mosul, ISIS’ de facto capital in Iraq.
Behind the successes in Ramadi and elsewhere lay the efforts of the US-led coalition to train and equip credible regional forces that can reclaim their country from the scourge of ISIS.
In addition to an impressive air campaign, Australia, Belgium, Denmark, France, Finland, Hungary, Germany, Italy, The Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portrugal, Spain, and the UK have all contributed to the US-led effort to train and empower regional forces to defeat ISIS.
In the slides below, find out what the brave recruits go through when training with the US-led coalition to counter ISIS.
Here is a quick overview of Operation Inherent Resolve’s members and initiatives.
Before the training started, the coalition had to move in with supplies. The coalition arms and equips Iraqi national forces and other regional groups like the Kurds.
A large part of the coalition’s efforts in training local forces is to build their confidence and capacity with thorough hands-on training.
Virtually every phase of the training touches on marksmanship and weapons discipline. Here, a US soldier instructs an Iraqi army recruit.
Iraqi recruits are put in high-pressure simulations of real combat. Trainers light fires to simulate the chaos of combat.
The training is not limited to infantry operations. Coalition forces also train the troops on proper tactics and deployment of tanks and armored vehicles.
As with any military training, there is a grueling physical-training component.
But not all of the training focuses on fighting. Here Iraqi army medics are being trained to save lives on and off the battlefield.
As IEDs are a preferred method of attack for ISIS and other insurgent groups, the Iraqis are trained in the removal of improvised bombs.
The fight against ISIS happens in a number of locations, so coalition forces train the troops for urban combat and clearing houses.
As chemical warfare is a reality in Iraq and Syria, the soldiers practice operations while wearing gas masks.
Should the fight get up close and personal, Iraqi troops are trained to use bayonets.
By February 13, 2015, 1,400 Iraqis had graduated from the intensive six-week basic-training course. Thousands more would follow in their footsteps during the coming months.
Once forces like the Iraqi army reclaim a piece of territory, military police are needed to make sure the area stays safe. The Italian Carabinieri (military police) train Iraqi military police on marksmanship and search and policing procedures.
In addition to the Iraqi national army and police forces, coalition troops are on the ground training the Kurdish Peshmerga, a group that has had particular success in booting ISIS out of the north of Syria and Iraq.
Ultimately, the goal of Operation Inherent Resolve is to train credible ground forces in Iraq and Syria that can defeat ISIS and reclaim their countries on their own terms, with training, assistance, and air support from partner nations all over the world.
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