Operation Inherent Resolve

Operation Inherent Resolve
Part of the War on ISIL, the War in Iraq, the Syrian Civil War

U.S. military F/A-18F Super Hornets of VFA-22 take off from USS Carl Vinson to support U.S. efforts for Operation Inherent Resolve in October 2014.
DateIraq: 15 June 2014 present (2 years, 5 months, 2 weeks and 6 days)
Syria: 22 September 2014 present (2 years, 2 months, 1 week and 6 days)
LocationIraq and Syria


  • Over 15,000 airstrikes launched on ISIL and al-Qaeda positions in Iraq and Syria
  • Humanitarian efforts conducted* Arming and support for local ground forces
  • ISIL loses tens of thousands of troops, thousands of vehicles, and 25-30% of its territory in Iraq[1]

 United States

 Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant[2][3][4]


Ahrar ash-Sham
(intentionality disputed)
Commanders and leaders
Barack Obama (President of the United States)
Ashton Carter (United States Secretary of Defense)
Lieutenant General Stephen J. Townsend (Commanding General CJTF-OIR)
Major General Gary J. Volesky
(Commander of Ground Forces CJTF-OIR)
Major General Scott A. Kindsvater
(Deputy Commander-Operations and Intelligence CJTF-OIR)
Major General Rupert Jones (Deputy Commander-Strategy and Support CJTF-OIR)

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi (Leader of ISIL)
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Abu Alaa Afri  
(Deputy Leader of ISIL)[7]
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Abu Mohammad al-Adnani  (Spokesperson)
Abu Ayman al-Iraqi  (Head of Military Shura)[8]
Abu Muslim al-Turkmani  (Deputy Leader, Iraq)[9]
Abu Ali al-Anbari  (Deputy Leader, Syria)
Abu Omar al-Shishani  (Field commander in Syria)[10][11]

Abu Mohammad al-Julani (Leader of the al-Nusra Front)
Abu Humam al-Shami 
(al-Nusra Military Chief)[12]
Abu Mohammed al-Ansari 
(al-Nusra Emir of the Idlib province)
Ahmad Salama Mabruk  (al-Nusra senior commander)[13]
Abu Firas al-Suri (al-Nusra chief spokesperson)[14]
Abu Hajer al-Homsi  (top al-Nusra military commander)[15]
Muhsin al-Fadhli  (Leader of Khorasan)[16][17]
David Drugeon  [17]

Abu Jaber  (2014–2015)[18]
Abu Yahia al-Hamawi (2015–present)[19]
Units involved

Elements of:

Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant ISIL army


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant:


  • al-Nusra Front: 10,000[61]
  • Khorasan: 50[62]

Ahrar ash-Sham:

  • 10,000–20,000[63]
Casualties and losses

United States United States:


Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant:

  • 27,000 killed [79]
  • 26,374+ targets destroyed or damaged (as of 31 May 2016)[80]
    • 143 tanks
    • 382 HMMWVs
    • 1,620 pieces of oil infrastructure
    • 1,000+ fuel tanker trucks[81]
    • 1,000+ pick-up trucks, VBIEDs, and other vehicles

(per coalition)


Ahrar ash-Sham:

6,365+ civilians killed by ISIL[85][86][87]
Between 1,513 and 4,527 civilians killed by Coalition airstrikes in Syria and Iraq(per Airwars)[88]
Over 970,000 civilians in Iraq and Syria displaced, or fled to Turkey and other countries[89][90][91][92]

Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) is the U.S. military's operational name for the military intervention against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL, in the vernacular, Daesh),[93] including both the campaign in Iraq and the campaign in Syria. Effective 21 August 2016, U.S. Army XVIII Airborne Corps is responsible for Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR).



Unlike their coalition partners, and unlike previous combat operations, no name was initially given to the conflict against ISIL by the U.S. government.[94] The decision to keep the conflict nameless drew considerable media criticism.[95][96][97][98][99]

The U.S. decided in October 2014 to name its military efforts against ISIL as "Operation Inherent Resolve"; the U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) news release announcing the name noted that:

According to CENTCOM officials, the name INHERENT RESOLVE is intended to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL and the threat they pose to Iraq, the region and the wider international community. It also symbolizes the willingness and dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary—diplomatic, informational, military, economic—to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL.[100]

The Defense Department announced at the end of October 2014 that troops operating in support of Operation Inherent Resolve after 15 June were eligible for the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal. Service areas are: Bahrain, Cyprus, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and the United Arab Emirates, as well as troops supporting the operation in the Persian Gulf, the Red Sea and the Mediterranean Sea east of 25 degrees longitude. The medal is approved retroactively beginning 15 June, the Pentagon said.[101]

By 4 December 2014, three U.S. service members had died from accidents or non-combat injuries.[102]


On 22 October 2015, a U.S. Master Sergeant, Joshua L. Wheeler, was shot dead when he, with about 30 other U.S. special operations soldiers and a peshmerga unit, conducted a prison break near Hawija, in which about 70 hostages were rescued, five ISIL members were captured and "a number" were killed or wounded.[103] The Kurdistan Regional Government said after the raid that none of the 15 prisoners it was intended to rescue were found.[104][105]


As of 9 March 2016, nearly 11,000 airstrikes have been launched on ISIL (and occasionally Al-Nusra), killing over 27,000 fighters[106] and striking over 22,000 targets, including 139 tanks, 371 Humvees, and 1,216 pieces of oil infrastructure. Approximately 80% of these airstrikes have been conducted by American forces, with the remaining 20% being launched by other members of the coalition, such as the United Kingdom and Australia. 7,268 strikes hit targets in Iraq, while 3,602 hit targets in Syria.[80] On 12 June 2016, it was reported that 120 Islamic State leaders, commanders, propagandists, recruiters and other high-value individuals were killed so far this year.[107]

Until March 2016, U.S. military members were ineligible for Campaign Medals and other service decorations due to the continuing ambiguous nature of the continuing U.S. involvement in Iraq.[108] However, on 30 March 2016, U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter announced the creation of a new medal, named "Inherent Resolve Campaign Medal".[109]

On 16 June 2016, AV-8B II+ Harriers of the 13th MEU flying off the USS Boxer began airstrikes against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria the first time the U.S. Navy has used ship-based aircraft from both the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf at the same time during Operation Inherent Resolve[110] (aircraft from the USS Harry S. Truman began airstrikes on IS targets from the Mediterranean on 3 June).[111]

As of 27 July 2016, U.S. and coalition partners conducted more than 14,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria: Nearly 11,000 of those strikes were from U.S. aircraft and the majority of the strikes (more than 9,000) were in Iraq. Of the 26,374 targets hit, nearly 8,000 were against ISIS fighting positions, while approximately 6,500 hit buildings; ISIS staging areas and oil infrastructure were each hit around 1,600 times. [112]

Since the first U.S. airstrikes on ISIS targets in Iraq on 8 August 2014, over two years, the U.S. military has spent over $8.4 billion fighting ISIS.[113]


 United States Navy

United States Marine Corps

 United States Army

Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Iraq[23]

U.S. and coalition forces are training Iraqi forces at four sites: in al-Asad in Anbar province, Erbil in the north, and Taji and Besmayah in the Baghdad area.

See also


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External links

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