Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF–OIR) is the Joint Task Force established by the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), set up by the US Central Command to coordinate military efforts against ISIL (Da'esh), and is composed of US military forces and personnel from over 30 countries.[1][15] The stated aim of CJTF–OIR is to "degrade and destroy" ISIL.[16] Its establishment by US Central Command was announced in December 2014, after it was set up to replace the ad hoc arrangements that had previously been established to coordinate operations following the rapid gains made by ISIL in Iraq in June.[17] Formed in October 2014,[3] its first "coalition integration conference" was held the first week of December 2014.[1] Current operations are named Operation Inherent Resolve by the United States Department of Defense. Lieutenant General Paul LaCamera, the current coalition commander, expressed his intent to root out ISIL from the major cities of Syria by the end of his rotation as commander, a promise that was fulfilled in 2019, with the loss of ISIL control over all cities and urban settlements in Syria.[18]

Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve
Participant in the Syrian Civil War, the Iraqi Civil War (2014–2017), and the War on Terror
Seal of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve[1]
Active10 October 2014 – present
(5 years, 1 month, 3 weeks and 6 days)[2][3][4]
Founders United States
Founding leaderUnited States Central Command
Current Commander LTG Paul LaCamera[5]
Maj. Gen. Christopher J. Ghika CBE
and Intelligence
Maj Gen Alexus G. Grynkewich
Chief of Staff Brig Gen Stephen F. Jost
Opponent(s) Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant
Tahrir al-Sham
White Flags[14]
Battles and war(s)International campaign against ISIL

While ground forces were also deployed in various roles (special forces raids, trainers, advisers, artillery, spotters), the bulk of CJTF-OIR's combat operations took the form of an air war against the Islamic State. The countries that directly participated in this part of the campaign were the United States (accounting for 75-80% of airstrikes on its own), Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, Belgium, the Netherlands, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and the United Kingdom.[19] By the end of 2017, CJTF-OIR stated that over 80,000 ISIL fighters had been killed by their airstrikes.[20] The coalition also provided $3.5 billion in military equipment to the Iraqi military,[21] provided billions more to Peshmerga, and trained 189,000 Iraqi soldiers and police.[22]

NATO's resources are also used by CJTF-OIR, and while the operation is not taking place under the NATO banner, the coalition has pointed out that all 29 members of the military alliance are also contributors to CJTF-OIR.[23]


As of August 2016, U.S. Army lieutenant general Stephen J. Townsend commands CJTF-OIR[24] in an appointment which consolidates three commander's tasks. Townsend has two deputies, a British Army officer, Major General Rupert Jones, who is currently serving as CJTF-OIR Deputy Commander-Strategy and Sustainment, and a U.S. Air Force officer, Major General Scott A. Kindsvater, who is currently serving as CJTF-OIR Deputy Commander-Operations and Intelligence.[25] CJTF-OIR's headquarters is at Camp Arifjan in Kuwait and includes approximately 500 personnel from 15 nations who are involved in coordinating operations in Iraq.[26]

A dozen countries not involved in combat operations still contribute to Capacity Building Mission Iraq effort in Iraq. Those who have announced their participation in the program, which trains Iraqi security forces, include the United States, Australia, Canada, Belgium, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Slovenia,[27] Spain, and the United Kingdom. As a result of the BPC program, nearly 6,500 Iraqi forces completed training, with approximately 4,500 currently in training.[28]

From August 2014 to August 2015, coalition aircraft flew a total of 45,259 sorties, with the U.S. Air Force flying the majority (67%), and dropped more than 5,600 bombs.[29] At the time, The Guardian reported that a team of independent journalists had published details of 52 airstrikes which killed more than 450 civilians. The coalition acknowledged only 2 non-combatant deaths.[30]

On October 3, 2015, Tunisia announced it would join CJTF–OIR.[31]

On December 22, 2018, three days after Donald Trump announced the U.S. would withdraw all its troops from Syria, Brett McGurk, the U.S. envoy to the coalition against ISIL, announced his resignation from his post.[32]

In April 2019, a joint investigation by Amnesty International and Airwars reported that 1,600 civilians were killed by coalition airstrikes and U.S. artillery shelling during the four-month battle to capture the Syrian city of Raqqa from ISIL in 2017.[33][34] The Coalition states it conducted 34,464 strikes against ISIL targets between August 8, 2014 and end of March 2019, and unintentionally killed at least 1,291 civilians.[35][36][37][38]

In June 2019, United States Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense Michael Mulroy said "Five years ago, ISIS controlled approximately 55,000 square kilometers and more than 4 million people in Iraq lived under their oppressive rule, Now they do not. The Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve continues to help train and equip 28 Iraqi brigades comprising thousands of soldiers. The more capable Iraq's security institutions, the more resilient Iraq will be in the face of malign foreign actors bent on coercion and exploitation." [39]

See also


  1. Rosen, Armin (9 December 2014). "The US-Led War On ISIS Now Has A Logo". Business Insider Australia. Retrieved 9 December 2014.
  2. " News Article: DoD Authorizes War on Terror Award for Inherent Resolve Ops". Retrieved 1 December 2014.
  3. "Inside the Coalition to defeat ISIL" (PDF). Combined Joint Task Force — U.S. Department of Defense. 21 April 2015. Archived from the original (PDF) on 14 July 2015. Retrieved 27 April 2015.
  4. Kohn, Sally (14 October 2014). "Warren and Christie Are the Anti-Hillarys". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  5. "New Operation Inherent Resolve commander continues fight against ISIL". Retrieved 23 August 2016.
  6. "4,600 international troops pledged to train Iraqi forces". Military Times. 8 December 2014. Retrieved 12 June 2015.
  7. Georgy, Michael (13 June 2015). "Militants attack government forces near Iraq's Baiji refinery". Reuters. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  8. "4,600 International Troops Pledged to Train Iraqi Forces". 8 December 2014. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  9. Harper, Jon (19 December 2014). "1,000 soldiers from the 82nd Airborne headed to Iraq". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 23 April 2015.
  10. "Partners of the Global Coalition". Retrieved 3 July 2019.
  11. Nations providing all forms of support, including direct participation in combat operations.
  12. Spokesperson, Office of the (3 December 2014). "Joint Statement Issued by Partners at the Counter-ISIL Coalition Ministerial Meeting". U.S. Department of State. Participants commended the efforts of the Lebanese Armed Forces in fighting ISIL/Daesh, and noted that ISIL/Daesh’s finances and recruitment are also increasingly being challenged through international cooperation. Participants affirmed, however, that a successful campaign against ISIL/Daesh will take time, and will require a sustained, united, and coordinated response. Participants reiterated their long-term commitment to this effort.
  13. Nations providing military materiel, economic aid, advisers, trainers, and other forms of support, but not directly participating in combat operations.
  14. Schogol, Jeff (April 25, 2018). "A 'post-ISIS insurgency' is gaining steam in Iraq". Business Insider. Retrieved December 10, 2018.
  15. Katz, Whitney (13 January 2015). "JECC assists in the establishment of Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve" (Press release). JECC Public Affairs. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  16. Pomerleau, Mark (14 August 2015). "Can the US really destroy terrorist groups like ISIS?". The Hill. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  17. Ripley, Tim (9 December 2014). "US sets up new headquarters for Operation 'Inherent Resolve'". IHS Jane's Defence Weekly. Archived from the original on June 1, 2015. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  18. Tilghman, Andrew (2017-08-08). "The ISIS war has a new commander — and ISIS may be the least of his worries". Military Times. Retrieved 2019-03-06.
  19. Special Reports: Operation Inherent Resolve. U.S. Department of Defense. Archived from March 28, 2017. Accessed July 2, 2019 via the Wayback Machine.
  20. "Once promised paradise, ISIS fighters end up in mass graves". The Straits Times. 15 October 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2017.
  21. CJTF-OIR Official Twitter. Archived 2019-04-13 at the Wayback Machine March 20, 2019. Accessed March 25, 2019.
  22. CJTF-OIR Official Twitter. Archived 2019-04-15 at the Wayback Machine March 15, 2019. Accessed March 25, 2019.
  23. "NATO".
  24. "New Operation Inherent Resolve commander continues fight against ISIL". U.S. Army. 2016-08-22. Retrieved 2016-10-20. Army Lt. Gen. Stephen J. Townsend, commanding general of XVIII Airborne Corps based at Fort Bragg, North Carolina, assumed command of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve during a transfer of authority ceremony on Monday August 21.
  25. "CJTF-OIR Leaders". Operational Inherent Resolve Official Website. 9 May 2016. Archived from the original on 6 April 2016. Retrieved 9 May 2016.
  26. Lekic, Slobodan; Simoes, Hendrick (19 May 2015). "Islamic State tactics and lack of intel strain US strategy". Stars and Stripes. Retrieved 25 August 2015.
  27. "Prvi slovenski vojaki so prispeli v iraški Kurdistan". Retrieved 2016-09-06.
  28. "Counter-ISIL military coalition concludes operational planning conference" (Press release). U.S. Central Command. 1 May 2015. Archived from the original on 13 June 2015. Retrieved 11 June 2015.
  29. Everstine, Brian (7 August 2015). "Operation Inherent Resolve: One year after the first bombs fell". AirForce Times. Retrieved 14 September 2015.
  30. Ross, Alice (3 August 2015). "Hundreds of civilians killed in US-led air strikes on Isis targets – report". The Guardian. Retrieved 3 August 2015.
  31. "Targets of Russian airstrikes in question". The Daily Star Newspaper - Lebanon. 5 October 2015. Retrieved 5 October 2015.
  32. Shaw, Adam (December 22, 2018). "Brett McGurk, US envoy to anti-ISIS coalition, resigns in wake of Trump decision to pull troops from Syria". Fox News. Retrieved December 22, 2018.
  33. "Groups say airstrikes by US-led coalition killed 1,600 civilians in Raqqa". MilitaryTimes. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 26 April 2019.
  34. "At least 1,600 civilians died in US-led Coalition actions at Raqqa, major new study finds". Airwars. 2019-04-25. Retrieved 2019-05-11.
  35. "US-led coalition 'killed 1,600 civilians' in Syria's Raqqa". Aljazeera. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  36. Martinez, Luis (25 April 2019). "Coalition strikes killed 1,600 civilians in Raqqa says new report". abcnews. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  37. Hansler, Jennifer; Browne, Ryan (25 April 2019). "Report: US-led coalition killed 1,600 civilians in Raqqa in 2017". CNN. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  38. "IS conflict: Coalition strikes on Raqqa 'killed 1,600 civilians'". BBC. 25 April 2019. Retrieved 27 April 2019.
  39. "Building Capabilities, Nurturing Alliances at Heart of U.S. Strategy". U.S. DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE.
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