The US-led coalition stated the management of the Islamic State group was now “irrelevant” after IS issued an audio message it stated was by its chief Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi.
Coalition spokesman Colonel Sean Ryan’s assertion got here after Baghdadi referred to as on Muslims to wage “jihad” within the purported recording launched late Wednesday.
“He’s been rendered ineffective and ineffective, so we’re not too involved by any feedback coming from ISIS management,” Ryan stated, utilizing one other acronym for the jihadist group.
“We imagine his management is irrelevant,” Ryan advised journalists in a convention name.
“We’re targeted on defeating the final remnants of ISIS, so whether or not he’s round or not doesn’t actually matter.”
Initially from Iraq, Baghdadi has been dubbed the “most needed man on the planet” and america is providing a $25 million reward for his seize.
IS overran giant swathes of Syria and neighbouring Iraq in 2014 and proclaimed a “caliphate” in territory it managed, however has since misplaced most of it to varied offensives.
“We’ve got our mission and that’s to defeat them within the decrease Euphrates River Valley and that’s what we’re going to do,” he stated.
The SDF have for months been making an attempt to expel the jihadists from the pocket, which incorporates the city of Hajeen.
“It has taken some time as a result of ISIS has left behind a whole bunch of improvised explosive gadgets, which slows progress,” stated Ryan.
Different priorities included correctly getting ready fighters and “ensuring that the civilians can get out with out being harmed”, he stated.
However Ryan stated the group was “right down to their final fighters”.
“They’re searching for spectacular assaults that make themselves appear related when actually they’re militarily defeated nearly, aside from the realm that we’re about to enter,” Ryan stated.
Under is a full rush transcript of the press convention by Colonel Sean Ryan , Spokesperson – World Coalition to Defeat ISIS.
Colonel Ryan: Good morning, I’m Colonel Sean Ryan and I’m the spokesman for the World Coalition to Defeat ISIS. I’ll begin with a fast opening assertion after which after that I’ll be completely satisfied to take your questions.
First in Iraq, operations by the Iraqi Safety Forces to safe the nation and to pursue Daesh remnants or ISIS remnants are ongoing in desolate and hardened ruled areas such because the distant deserts of Anbar or within the mountains of Kirkuk, Diyala and Salah ad-Din. The ISF continues to find, establish and destroy ISIS remnants along with securing roads and infrastructure from assaults by malign actors.
Within the first week of August alone, the collective operations carried out by the ISF throughout Iraq led to the arrest of greater than 50 suspected terrorists, and 500 IEDs and munitions.
Moreover, the ISF continues to clear and safe a central infrastructure that numerous Iraqi civilians depend on such because the busy roads of Irbil and Kirkuk, Hawija, Samarra, Salah ad-Din and the area’s energy construction, which was topic to quite a few ISIS terror assaults just lately.
The ISF are very succesful forces and I reiterate, we’re right here on the authorities of Iraq’s invitation, in addition to right here as a associate, and no [Coalition] troops on the bottom are engaged in fight operations.
Switching to Syria. Coalition forces and companions are conducting shaping operations in preparation for section three of Operation Roundup whose floor offensive has not but begun. Operation Roundup is an effort to speed up the defeat of Daesh within the final territory they maintain within the Euphrates River Valley.
As soon as the SDF is getting ready for the offensive they’re additionally enabling the protected passage of civilians leaving Hajin, the final ISIS stronghold within the Euphrates River Valley and assuring that ISIS fighters making an attempt to flee the realm are apprehended.
Within the the rest of Northeast Syria native inner safety forces are securing cities via legislation enforcement and counter-IED actions enabling civilian stabilization efforts to proceed and stopping the resurgence of ISIS.
Lastly, stabilization efforts throughout Iraq and Syria proceed to forestall the return of situations beneath which ISIS arose. In Iraq, the federal government is working to enhance dwelling situations throughout the nation by addressing areas of most want, significantly in rebuilding infrastructure broken by the combat in opposition to ISIS and offering entry to every day requirements reminiscent of electrical energy and water.
In Syria, stabilization efforts are targeted on saving strains, demining, water, electrical energy and the supply of requirements.
Query: how does U.S.-Turkey tensions have an effect on progress in opposition to ISIS? Particularly some officers have talked about that the stress may jeopardize information-sharing and legislation enforcement cooperation. What are your views on this? Tensions relating to Idlib. Do you are concerned, do you’ve issues relating to this?
Colonel Ryan: To reply your first query, we work with Turkish forces on daily basis and I imagine these are extra political tensions, not navy tensions. Like I stated, every little thing’s been fairly good with our Turkish counterparts so I don’t imagine that’s true in any respect.
So far as Idlib, that’s not inside our space of operations, so we typically don’t touch upon that.
Query: Query is relating to the operation in opposition to the final IS pockets wherein you talked about, speaking about upcoming operations. What’s the important impediment to taking the final pockets? why, Bakr al-Baghdadi talking and recruiting yesterday. Why is it taking so lengthy to seize Baghdadi, and do you’ve any leads on the place, his location, his whereabouts?
Colonel Ryan: With regard to section three of Operation Roundup, proper now as I discussed, we’re in shaping operations, preparing for the ultimate battle. It has taken some time as a result of ISIS has left behind a whole bunch of improvised explosive gadgets which slows progress down. And in addition, we need to make certain we’ve our forces appropriately aligned earlier than we go in there.
The opposite main impediment is ensuring that the civilians can get out with out being harmed, and that’s considered one of our important priorities.
So far as Baghdadi, he has been very nicely hidden, however proper now in our estimation he’s been rendered helpless and ineffective. So we’re not too involved about any feedback coming from ISIS management as they’ve already introduced his substitute a few weeks in the past anyway, so I don’t suppose that has any affect on our battle right here.
Query: ISIS leaders from all around the world, and now this morning there’s a terrorist assault again in France. Is ISIS gaining energy in different areas? ISIS in lots of nations like Egypt, Libya and Yemen. Are there tensions between them ?
Colonel Ryan: I can inform you that is likely one of the causes the Coalition is on this space proper now’s as a result of ISIS in a global downside. It requires a global answer.
So the fights proper now are, in fact, in Iraq and Syria, however once more, the entire motive we need to destroy the final remnants of ISIS right here is so that they don’t go to different areas.
So far as your different query, once more, we are able to’t touch upon operations in Libya and Egypt, as a result of proper now that’s not our important concern. Our final concern is destroying the final remnants of ISIS.
Query: I wish to be taught the newest developments in Manbij, and the way is that this going with respect to joint patrolling, the coaching, I need to be taught. And with respect to the withdrawal of some PYD guys, would you see some concrete numbers, statements and info? When will we count on it to be realized?
Colonel Ryan: At present rehearsals are ongoing between Turkey and america. They’re dedicated to a sustainable settlement to make sure stability and safety in that space. This implementation will likely be based mostly intently and comply with developments on the bottom.
Proper now I don’t have any numbers as a result of we don’t work with the YPG, so I can’t communicate for them. However that was a part of the settlement with the framework between america and Turkey. And because the Coalition spokesman I can’t get any deeper into that one.
Query: What’s the scenario on the Iraq-Syria border?
Colonel Ryan: Once more, the final main space goes to be within the decrease Euphrates River Valley, which comes near the border. The Iraqi Safety Forces have achieved a exceptional job securing the border. And naturally the Syrian Democratic Forces are the principle offense that will likely be going into Hajin as soon as that offensive begins to destroy the final remnants in Hajin.
Between the Coalition, Syrian Democratic Forces and Iraqi Safety forces there’s excellent communication, and that’s the place we plan to defeat ISIS in that space as soon as and for all.
Query: I’d prefer to ask you what’s the preferrred situation for the end reminiscent of in Idlib?
Colonel Ryan: Sadly, I can’t reply that query as a result of that’s not throughout the Coalition’s space of operation.
Proper now we’re working within the decrease Euphrates River Valley to destroy the final remnants of Daesh or ISIS in that space.
Query: My query is there was some allegations that truly the inspiration of some Islamic wing combating group in Syria in late June/July 2012 had been in settlement with Turkish authorities, and that settlement consisted of the earlier Western settlement that they might agree to permit this Islamic wing navy pressure to truly combat Kurdish rebels alongside the Turkish-Syrian border. Is that also occurring? What’s the truth behind this? What have you ever bought to say about it?
Colonel Ryan: That’s a really intriguing query, and I actually can’t touch upon that as a result of that’s not beneath the Coalition purview.
Query: As in comparison with the early phases of Operation Inherent Resolve, the present situation has utterly modified with ISIL more and more dropping manpower and land and its militants being pushed underground. How is the Coalition reconfiguring its operations within the face of those modifications?
Colonel Ryan: The Coalition together with the Syrian Democratic Forces, our associate pressure in that space, are frequently altering navy ways to destroy the final remnants of ISIS in that space.
It’s going to be a troublesome combat, and we imagine that ISIS goes to attempt to make a final stand, and we already know that they’re going to be laying improvised explosive gadgets, there’s going to be in all probability a clever use of suicide vests, each time they will deploy one thing of that method. It’s going to be a really troublesome combat, however we imagine general militarily we are going to defeat them as a result of we’ve larger forces and larger navy functionality.
Colonel Ryan: I couldn’t hear all that query, however I can inform you that the Coalition is right here to destroy all remnants of ISIS and naturally we goal their prime leaders each time doable. And I can inform you that we’ve already seen a whole lot of leaders from ISIS flee the battlefield. They’re taking any strains they will discover to flee. They’re abandoning their very own forces, taking monies and provides with them. So once more, proper now our final stand is within the decrease Euphrates River Valley, and we hopefully plan on taking out all the remainder of them in that space. And with our companions, the Syrian Democratic Forces, they’re performing very nicely, however we do count on this to be an extended, exhausting combat.
Query: Colonel Ryan, there’s distinction in ISIS, however there are completely different mechanisms relating to Syria. The most recent one was proposed by President Erdogan inviting the German, French and Russian leaders collectively in Turkey. I might need to know what the Coalition’s place is relating to peace in Syria and all these completely different mechanisms, whether or not you suppose it’s constructive or whether or not, how do these completely different mechanisms have an effect on your work?
Colonel Ryan: In fact peace is at all times the perfect offense each time we are able to come to that. That’s a really political query and I can’t touch upon that.
However once more, we’re satisfied that we have to destroy the final remnants of ISIS in Syria within the decrease Euphrates River Valley. That’s our mission, and we plan to finish that.
Hopefully the combating will result in a political course of ultimately, however once more, that’s means above the Coalition proper now. We’re simply targeted on our mission.
Query: My query could be on the evolution of Operation Inherent Resolve. The present situation may be very a lot modified. So ISIL has increasedly misplaced manpower and land they usually have been pushed underground, most of them ? How is the Coalition reconsidering its operations within the face of those modifications?
Colonel Ryan: Certainly, the navy battle has modified. In different areas it was home to deal with, very city combating. Now it’s modified to a really complicated desert combating space the place ISIS resides underground in tunnels and scattered all through which does make for a troublesome battle. However once more, I imagine the Syrian Democratic Forces together with the Coalition will defeat ISIS within the decrease Euphrates River Valley, and we will even be capable of lastly liberate the residents of Hajin which has solely identified ISIS the final 4 to 5 years, and whose kids who haven’t been capable of go to high school for 5 to seven years, and who haven’t acquired fundamental requirements like different elements of the nation. So that’s our mission, and we plan to finish it.
Query: Russian authorities had been requested from the international powers and international nations in Syria to get out from this place. Are there any form of cooperation between Russia and the Coalition in Syria?
Colonel Ryan: We don’t coordinate with the Russians, however we do have a deconfliction with them to make sure that all troopers on either side are protected. However that’s all.
Query: The Coalition to the newest assertion of Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi which was despatched out in a brand new audio message by ISIS the place he requires worldwide assaults. Do you imagine this can be a current audio taping? Or do you suppose it’s an older one and Baghdadi is out of perform and even lifeless?
Colonel Ryan: I’d be speculating to reply that query, however I can inform you, as I discussed earlier than, we imagine his management is irrelevant, and once more, we’re targeted on defeating the final remnants of ISIS. So whether or not he’s round or not doesn’t actually matter. We’ve got our mission, and that’s to defeat them within the decrease Euphrates River Valley, and that’s what we’re going to do.
Query: You stated earlier than that Bakr al-Baghdadi was irrelevant. And also you talked about that IS had introduced his substitute. Is that appropriate? And in that case, who will likely be changing him? Who would you suppose it will be? Thanks.
Colonel Ryan: Yeah, they introduced that a few weeks in the past. His identify is slipping me so I’ll must get again to you on that one. However once more, you understand what, they’re right down to their final fighters. They’re going to attempt to make a tough stand. And like we’ve seen them do already, they’re searching for spectacular assaults to make themselves appear related when actually they’re militarily defeated nearly aside from the realm that we’re about to enter.
Colonel Ryan: We work intently with the Iraqi Safety Forces, and that’s actually all we talk with. Then in fact they dictate the place their forces go and the way their forces function. So they’re a really robust associate of ours and we depend on them they usually depend on us for communications and logistics in different areas, however we’re very safe within the choices that they make.
Query: he stated that the mission in Syria contains now countering Iran affect within the area. Are you able to clarify a bit extra about how that may work? What are you going to do about Iran? What number of fighters do you suppose are within the Euphrates River Valley that you simply’ve been speaking about?
Colonel Ryan: To reply your first query about Ambassador Bolton, it’s a political determination, not one for the Coalition. That’s very United States particular so I can’t get into that as a result of I’m the Coalition spokesman.
So far as the numbers, sure, this has been mentioned. We’re trying into the metrics behind these numbers as a result of after we are requested about ISIS fighter numbers we’re solely speaking in regards to the fighters that we’re going in opposition to in that exact battle.
Within the Euphrates River Valley we’ve put out a number of occasions that we imagine there are between 1,000 to 1,500 fighters left and that’s what we’re calling the final remnants of ISIS in that space.
Colonel Ryan: I might similar to to say the challenges forward in Iraq and Syria are nice. We encourage the remainder of the world to make sure that the radicalism and terror not discover fertile floor in Iraq and the remainder of the world additionally.
I need to thanks, Colonel Ryan, for becoming a member of us and to thank all of you for taking part and to your questions.