Wednesday, 25 1728ZMAR2015 | SOUTHWEST ASIA – CJTF-OIR operations to support Iraqi Security Forces in Tikrit have commenced after a request from the Iraqi Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi. The coalition is now providing direct support to Iraqi Security Forces conducting operations to expel ISIL from the city. CJTF-OIR is providing air strikes, airborne intelligence capabilities, and Advise and Assist support to Iraqi Security Force headquarters elements in order to enhance their ability to defeat ISIL.
“These strikes are intended to destroy ISIL strongholds with precision, thereby saving innocent Iraqi lives while minimizing collateral damage to infrastructure,” said Lt. Gen. James L. Terry, CJTF-OIR commanding general. “This will further enable Iraqi forces under Iraqi command to maneuver and defeat ISIL in the vicinity of Tikrit.”
Iraqi Security Forces have ISIL in Tikrit encircled. Renewed efforts on the ground supported by the Coalition are aimed at dislodging ISIL fighting elements from Tikrit and once again placing the town under the Government of Iraq control. The CJTF-OIR Coalition will continue supporting the Iraqi Security Forces and the GoI, to degrade and defeat ISIL.
On March 24, coalition military forces continued to attack ISIL terrorists in Syria, using fighter aircraft to conduct five airstrikes. Separately in Iraq, coalition military forces conducted 14 airstrikes approved by the Iraqi Ministry of Defense, using fighter, bomber and remotely piloted aircraft against ISIL terrorists. All strikes took place between 8 a.m., March 24, and 8 a.m., March 25, local time.
The following is a summary of the strikes conducted since the last press release:
• Near Kobani, five airstrikes struck three ISIL tactical units, an ISIL vehicle and destroyed 10 ISIL fighting positions and two ISIL vehicles.
• Near Bayji, five airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units and destroyed an ISIL fighting position and an ISIL armored vehicle.
• Near Fallujah, five airstrikes struck four ISIL tactical units, an ISIL vehicle and destroyed two ISIL excavators and an ISIL vehicle.
• Near Mosul, two airstrikes struck an ISIL modular oil refinery, an ISIL tactical unit and destroyed two ISIL machine guns and an ISIL building.
• Near Tal Afar, two airstrikes struck an ISIL large tactical unit, an ISIL tactical unit, two ISIL machine guns and destroyed an ISIL mortar system and an ISIL building.
Airstrike assessments are based on initial reports. All aircraft returned to base safely.
The strikes were conducted as part of Operation Inherent Resolve, the operation to eliminate the ISIL terrorist group and the threat they pose to Iraq, Syria, the region, and the wider international community. The destruction of ISIL targets in Syria and Iraq further limits the terrorist group’s ability to project terror and conduct operations. Coalition nations which have conducted airstrikes in Iraq include Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Jordan, Netherlands, United Kingdom and U.S. Coalition nations which have conducted airstrikes in Syria include Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and U.S.