Author Topic: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis  (Read 520157 times)

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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1375 on: February 20, 2017, 22:26:31 »
Just so I can understand what you just said eye, can someone tell me what LRP, MESF, JOA, and AAR are?
"We are called a Battalion, Authorized to be company strength, parade as a platoon, Operating as a section"

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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1376 on: February 20, 2017, 22:34:26 »
Long range patrol
Middle East stabilization force
Air to air refuelling
Joint operations area I think

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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1377 on: February 20, 2017, 22:36:07 »
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1378 on: February 20, 2017, 22:43:18 »
Thanks gents, clear as mud now  :cheers:
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1379 on: February 21, 2017, 09:01:30 »
Some of the latest, shared under the Fair Dealings bit of the Copyright Act ...
Quote
Canadian special forces have shifted their operations in northern Iraq to put pressure on ISIL in places outside Mosul, including along the border with Syria.

When the first Canadian soldiers arrived in the country in September 2014, their mission was to help train the peshmerga to stop and hold back a confident and, until then, undefeated ISIL hoard.

Kurdish forces, supported by the Canadians, then kicked off a long-anticipated attack to free Mosul, Iraq's second-largest city, from ISIL in October.

But the Kurds and their Canadian comrades stopped short of Mosul, as planned. Instead, they shifted to fighting the extremist group in other ways and let the Iraqi military enter and clear ISIL from the city.

Now a special forces officer says the Canadian mission has turned toward identifying and monitoring potential ISIL targets in the area.

That includes keeping tabs through optical sights and other means, on what he calls “key enemy movement corridors” between Iraq and Syria as well as areas inside and immediately outside Kurdish territory.

Speaking on condition of anonymity due to security concerns, the officer says such monitoring helped locate ISIL forces inside a large town that was sidestepped during the early parts of the Mosul offensive and needed cleaning up.

It also means a decline in the number of times Canadian soldiers have actually fired their weapons in recent months.
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1380 on: February 21, 2017, 09:33:32 »
Well, that's a pretty awesome picture of the TacHel folks at the dam (Mosul dam is...call it 40km or so NW of Mosul).  BZ to the SOF and TacHel folks pushing west. 
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1382 on: February 22, 2017, 16:17:14 »
Ya that looks like some cool flying for sure.  Very different perspective and it's gotta be nice to get air on your face that isn't from a gasper.   

I've done a small bit of flying like TacHel folks do...it felt pretty low and slow down there (although 100' over water at 250 kts *feels like home* to me....).  Lots of weird vibrations and noise and stuff.   8)   
« Last Edit: February 22, 2017, 18:56:15 by Eye In The Sky »
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1383 on: February 23, 2017, 12:16:47 »
Is there a purpose in that one photo of buddy wearing Woodland CADPAT pants, and everything else is Arid? or was it just laundry day on camp?
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1384 on: February 23, 2017, 15:29:31 »
Which picture is that exactly?
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1385 on: February 23, 2017, 20:22:57 »
Is there a purpose in that one photo of buddy wearing Woodland CADPAT pants, and everything else is Arid? or was it just laundry day on camp?
It's cold in the AOR - those are his winter flying gear.
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1386 on: February 27, 2017, 18:26:11 »
According to Matthew Fisher, in this column in the National Post reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act, we are exploring various options for a role in Syria.

Matthew Fisher: Canadian Forces studying options for potential Syrian operation


Matthew Fisher | February 27, 2017 5:12 PM ET

The Canadian military has begun to study options for an operation in Syria, for the Liberal government to consider as U.S. president Donald Trump hints he may expand the 16-year-old war on terrorism by sending more troops to that country after the offensive to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIL concludes.

Officers familiar with how the military does long-range planning said that offering such choices — as well as examining ways Canada might continue to contribute to the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq after the war there ends — was standard procedure. It is prudent to constantly prepare and update options regarding potential overseas deployment to hot spots in case the government of the day asks for them, they said.

What comes next for Canada and its allies is an obvious question, with the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant holding only a sliver of land in Iraq and a much larger swathe of territory in Syria. Lt.-Gen. Steve Townsend, the U.S. ground commander for the wars in Iraq and Syria, expects ISIL to be defeated in both countries within six months. But nobody expects that ISIL, or its rivals, Al Qaeda, will be entirely eradicated for a very long time. There are fears the terrorist groups will go underground in those countries, increase their activities in Somalia or northern and central Africa or take their war global, launching more terrorist attacks on soft civilian targets, particularly in Europe.

It is not publicly known whether the Trump government has asked Ottawa to contribute troops or assist in other ways in the war against ISIL in Syria, or to take on other roles in the war on terror. But if there is anything to be taken from the example of the war in neighbouring Iraq, where Canada has been a participant since August, 2014, such a request is possible.

Canada is one of 17 countries currently assisting Iraqi and Kurdish forces in Iraq. About Canadian 800 troops now involved in what the Canadian Forces calls Operation Impact. About 70 are elite Special Forces from the Ontario-based JTF2. They train, advise and assist Kurdish fighters and when at risk themselves, have occasionally joined the fight.


Other Canadians are targeting experts, based in Kuwait and Qatar, or work with Kuwait-based reconnaissance aircraft which help identify ISIL targets. A small team of Canadian doctors, nurses and technicians also runs a military hospital in the Kurdish city of Erbil, about 70 kilometres east of the front lines around Mosul.

The U.S. already has 500 Special Forces soldiers in Syria and has been preparing the American public for the possibility that more troops may soon be headed there. Gen. Joseph Votel, the U.S. commander responsible for overseeing military operations in the Middle East and South Asia, took journalists with him on a secretive tour of northern Syria last week. At an undisclosed location he told his media entourage that “take-no-prisoners fighting” was in the offing to capture ISIL’s Syrian hub, Raqqa, and that more troops may be needed to accelerate the war against ISIL there.

Any expansion of the coalition war in Syria is complicated by Russia’s political and military support for the government of Syrian President Bashir Assad. There remains confusion over to what extent Trump’s professed admiration for Russia’s leader, Vladimir Putin, will play a role in decisions made in Washington, particularly as the U.S. president’s top security advisers regard the Kremlin with deep suspicion. Turkey, which is a member of NATO that has improving ties with Moscow, also does not want Syrian Kurdish forces allied with the U.S. to become more powerful.

Canada is already indirectly involved in the war in Syria. Since December, JTF2 has been advising Iraqi Kurds deployed near the Syrian border in northwestern Iraq, in an attempt to prevent ISIL forces escaping from Mosul and reaching Syria. It had been involved in the air war in Syria until the Liberals ordered home the RCAF’s F-18s.

If Canada were to become involved militarily in Syria again it could send a small number of JTF2 troops there in an advisory role. Another possibility is that Canada could be asked to provide “boots on the ground” to help protect civilians from violence in safe zones that Trump has said he intends to establish to prevent the Syrian refugee crisis from worsening.

Canadian Brig.-Gen. Dave Anderson, who heads the coalition’s strategic advisory team in Iraq, told Postmedia in an interview late last year that discussions were already taking place then about how “we — that is, the Iraqi security forces — can not only take Mosul but hold it afterwards.” According to Trump’s most senior general, Joseph Dunford, the U.S. and NATO are considering a long-term military commitment to assist Iraqi and Kurdish forces who will be responsible for trying to prevent ISIL or other terrorist groups from regrouping. Canada’s Iraq mission could be extended indefinitely as part of that effort.

The potential ask for Canada to extend or expand its role in the region comes as Ottawa undertakes an open-ended commitment to lead a NATO battalion in Latvia from this June, and continue training missions in Poland and Ukraine.

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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1387 on: March 02, 2017, 23:41:21 »
According to Matthew Fisher, in this column in the National Post reproduced under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act, we are exploring various options for a role in Syria.

Matthew Fisher: Canadian Forces studying options for potential Syrian operation


Matthew Fisher | February 27, 2017 5:12 PM ET

The Canadian military has begun to study options for an operation in Syria, for the Liberal government to consider as U.S. president Donald Trump hints he may expand the 16-year-old war on terrorism by sending more troops to that country after the offensive to liberate the Iraqi city of Mosul from ISIL concludes.


Canada is already indirectly involved in the war in Syria. Since December, JTF2 has been advising Iraqi Kurds deployed near the Syrian border in northwestern Iraq, in an attempt to prevent ISIL forces escaping from Mosul and reaching Syria. It had been involved in the air war in Syria until the Liberals ordered home the RCAF’s F-18s.

If Canada were to become involved militarily in Syria again it could send a small number of JTF2 troops there in an advisory role. Another possibility is that Canada could be asked to provide “boots on the ground” to help protect civilians from violence in safe zones that Trump has said he intends to establish to prevent the Syrian refugee crisis from worsening.

Some might see this as splitting hairs, but even after the CF-18s were pulled out, there was a CAF presence in the MESF in Syria; most recently, the JTF Commander has confirmed the ISR piece has been happening in Syria as well  with the Aurora. 

Unless I'm missing something, the CAF has continued to be involved inside the Syrian battlespace, with the SOF piece now shifting closer to there as well.  That's militarily involved isn't it?  Targetting ISIS and supporting fighter ops with tankers?
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1388 on: March 04, 2017, 07:32:14 »
Via the info-machine ...
Quote
Brigadier-General Daniel MacIsaac assumed command of Joint Task Force-Iraq (JTF-I) at a ceremony today at Camp Canada in Kuwait. Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Deputy Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command, presided over the ceremony.

Taking over as Commander of JTF-I from Brigadier-General Shane Brennan, Brigadier-General MacIsaac will command Canadian Armed Forces (CAF) personnel deployed on Operation IMPACT, Canada’s military contribution to the Global Coalition against Daesh.

CAF members continue to play a significant role alongside Coalition partners by supporting Iraqi security forces, conducting air operations, and providing strategic military support to the Government of Iraq.

Quotes

    “With a wide range of military leadership experiences, most recently as the Commander of 5th Canadian Division Support Group—Atlantic Canada’s largest Army organization—Brigadier-General MacIsaac is ideally suited to command Joint Task Force-Iraq and to lead its members through the challenges that lay ahead. I thank Brigadier-General Brennan for his nine-month commitment to bringing this mission forward and for its success to date.”

    — Rear-Admiral Bob Auchterlonie, Deputy Commander Canadian Joint Operations Command

    “It is a privilege to command Joint Task Force – Iraq. Brigadier-General Brennan led this force through a significant period of change, which included significant degradation of Daesh’s capability. I look forward to working with JTF-I’s outstanding Canadians, our coalition partners and our hosts in this region. Such collaborative work against a disruptive non-state common enemy demonstrates our shared commitment to fighting terrorism, as well as to regional and international peace and security.”

    — Brigadier-General Daniel MacIsaac, Incoming Commander, Joint Task Force-Iraq

    “I am honoured to have commanded Joint Task Force-Iraq. The Task Force made important contributions to the Coalition while implementing substantial capabilities as part of the enhanced mission. I know that Brigadier-General MacIsaac will maintain the Canadian Armed Forces’ tradition of excellence in operations which Joint Task Force-Iraq has so successfully achieved.”

    — Brigadier-General Shane Brennan, Outgoing Commander, Joint Task Force-Iraq

Quick Facts

    Brigadier-General MacIsaac has served in a variety of English- and French-speaking command, staff and engineering positions throughout his career. He has previous operational experience in Bosnia-Herzegovina, Croatia, Europe, Haiti and Canada.

    While Brigadier-General MacIsaac was the Commanding Officer of 5e Régiment du génie de combat between 2009 and 2011, the Regiment generated a headquarters and seven squadrons for counter insurgency operations in Afghanistan. Also while under his command, a regimental headquarters and 150 soldiers deployed to provide immediate humanitarian assistance and disaster response after the 2010 earthquake in Haiti. On that mission, Brigadier-General MacIsaac served as the Task Force Engineer.

    Prior to his current deployment, he served as the Commander of 5th Canadian Division Support Group in Gagetown, New Brunswick.

    During the past year, as part of the Government of Canada’s continued contribution to multinational efforts to degrade and defeat Daesh, the CAF assumed the lead of a highly capable Role 2 medical facility and launched Building Partner Capacity initiatives in Jordan and Lebanon, an All-Source Intelligence Centre, and a tactical aviation detachment of CH-146 Griffon helicopters. These components are part of the mission made up of approximately 830 CAF members which include the train, advise and assist mission with Iraqi security forces.
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1389 on: March 04, 2017, 12:18:39 »
Also, from the CJTF-OIR Facebook page, Notes section; Joint Task Force - Iraq welcomes new commander. 

Confirmation of the mission construct, mandate, etc into 2017 should be coming soon.   
« Last Edit: March 04, 2017, 12:32:54 by Eye In The Sky »
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1390 on: March 04, 2017, 15:51:54 »
Confirmation of the mission construct, mandate, etc into 2017 should be coming soon.   

Less than 30 days before the end date of the mission. Why plan when you can react? (not that its the CAF's lack of planning at fault here...)

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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1391 on: March 05, 2017, 08:23:06 »
We could just leave ISIS alone in Syria and let the Iranians and Russians deal with it. All we would need to do ins monitor the border and ensure there are no ISIS leakers slipping back into Iraq.

Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1392 on: March 05, 2017, 08:45:01 »
More on those Kurds ...
Quote
The threat of political chaos looms over the imminent defeat of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in Mosul, fuelling fear of a dramatically different -- and deadly -- use for Canada's military support for Kurdish peshmerga forces.

Much of the potential upheaval revolves around whether Iraq's disparate Sunni and Shia populations can finally set aside their differences and come together in some sort of reconciliation.

But many are also watching to see whether the Kurds plan to demand independence from the rest of Iraq, as their leaders -- whose arguments for separation echo Canada's own sovereigntist movement -- have promised.

The Kurds have already made it clear they are ready to fight for so-called "disputed territory" that the peshmerga have liberated from ISIL, but whose ownership is claimed by both Baghdad and Erbil.

All of which sets up potentially awkward questions for Canada and the federal government, which has thus far said little about the potential long-term effects of its mission to wipe out ISIL.

The Kurds in northern Iraq have enjoyed a degree of self-rule since 1991, when the West established no-fly zones to stop a bloody campaign by Saddam Hussein's forces that killed thousands, mostly civilians.

That de facto autonomy became official after the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003, which saw a new constitution enshrine the Kurds' right to self-government within a unified Iraq.

But persistent tensions appear ready to come to a head as Kurdish president Masoud Barzani has promised a referendum on independence once ISIL is defeated.

The Kurdistan regional government's top diplomat, Falah Mustafa, says the time has come for an "amicable divorce" from the rest of Iraq.

"The One Iraq policy is wrong," he said last week in an exclusive interview with The Canadian Press.

"You tried it, it failed. Don't insist on repeating a failed experience. We can't live together within the same country. But we may be good neighbours." ...
:pop:
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1393 on: March 21, 2017, 20:45:29 »
Also, from the CJTF-OIR Facebook page, Notes section; Joint Task Force - Iraq welcomes new commander. 

Confirmation of the mission construct, mandate, etc into 2017 should be coming soon.   
A bit more on that ...
Quote
The Liberal government is expected to extend Canada's mission in Iraq in the coming days as it waits for the battle of Mosul to end.

The current mission, launched last year, saw the government withdraw Canadian fighter jets from the U.S.-led bombing campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but triple the number of special forces soldiers in northern Iraq.

It also added a helicopter detachment to transport and resupply those soldiers as well as a 50-person intelligence unit, and kept two surveillance planes and a refuelling aircraft in the region.

The mission was set to expire next week, but sources tell The Canadian Press that the government is looking at an extension of several months without any changes.

They say Canada remains committed to helping Iraq get back on its feet, but the country's exact needs won't be known until ISIL is defeated in Mosul.

That battle is expected to take several more weeks, if not months, as Iraqi forces engage in bloody house-to-house fighting to push the extremist group from the country's second-largest city.

Military commanders have warned that victory in Mosul won't mark the end of ISIL in Iraq, as most expect it to abandon conventional military tactics in favour of terror tactics, like suicide bombings.

That will require different training and support from the international community, which to this point has been largely focused on helping Iraqi and Kurdish forces fight ISIL as a regular military force.

There are also concerns about Iraq's political future, with several potential conflicts bubbling just beneath the surface as the threat posed by ISIL appears to be receding.

Those include competing territorial claims between the Kurds in northern Iraq and the central government in Baghdad, and long-standing divisions between the country's Sunni and Shia populations.

Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan alluded to the situation on Tuesday when asked about the future of Canada's mission in Iraq.

"What we're doing now is making sure that we're talking to our coalition partners, looking at the situation on the ground," he said.

"It is very fluid, and we just want to make sure that we have the right resources.… So we will continue to look at any type of adjustments so that we are a responsible coalition partner." ...
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1394 on: March 24, 2017, 07:18:50 »
While the mission construct is yet to be released, the LRP Det carries on with what is now Ops Normal in theatre.  I know, they are not the only folks serving there, but the air and ground crews, HQ etc are somewhat rare because many of them will rotate in and out on a regular basis (aircrew max out on the amount of hours they are allowed to fly, so are rotated in/out as required and do shorter ROTO lengths because of that restriction).  3 ROTOs have been completed by a number of people since Oct 2014; the names on the Centurion Club list (crewmembers who have completed 100+ missions) will continue to grow. 

Article Link

Operation IMPACT Long Range Patrol surpasses 700 missions

By: Major Paul Doucette, Joint Task Force- Iraq Public Affairs Officer

Joint Task Force Iraq’s Long Range Patrol Detachment reached a major milestone last month when it carried out its 700th mission since beginning operations in the region in late 2014.

The detachment has two CP-140 Aurora long range patrol aircraft that conduct Intelligence, Surveillance and Reconnaissance (ISR) missions over points of interest in Iraq and Syria. A point of interest is a specific location that may be assessed as useful or of interest in the identification of a potential legitimate military target and which may or not become a target itself.

While all possible measures to mitigate risk are taken, any mission over enemy territory is not without risks. For the CP-140 crews, their missions take them over a variety of potential Daesh targets. The work is meticulous and can be painstaking with each mission lasting for hours as information on particular points of interest is collected for further analysis. The end state comes when an enemy target is clearly identified and, after all due process is followed, then engaged by coalition assets.

“These flights show the resilience and versatility of the CP-140 and its crews,” said Colonel Luc Guillette, Commander of Operation IMPACT’s Air Task Force. “By flying these demanding missions on a daily basis, we have denied Daesh freedom of movement and helped to wear them down to the point where they are today.”

Since October 30, 2014, the coalition has employed two CP-140 Aurora aircraft. Flying within the area of operations, the aircraft employs Electro Optic sensors, as well as various other sensors to provide ISR imagery for coalition strike assets and target development. The CP-140 aircraft and crews generally fly six or seven days a week.
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1395 on: March 24, 2017, 07:38:18 »
Article Link  contains maps and images

Battle for Mosul: The story so far

Tens of thousands of civilians are fleeing the northern Iraqi city of Mosul as government security forces continue their military offensive to reclaim the city from the so-called Islamic State (IS).

After taking the airport, Iraqi forces have made key gains in the west of the city, recapturing several bridges, as well as government buildings.

They are closing in on the densely-populated old city of Mosul, and the Great Mosque of al-Nuri, where IS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi proclaimed the creation of a "caliphate" in July 2014.

Iraqi security forces, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, Sunni Arab tribesmen and Shia militiamen, assisted by US-led coalition warplanes and military advisers, are involved in the operation, launched on 17 October 2016.

IS jihadists overran Mosul as they spread across much of northern and western Iraq two years earlier in 2014.

Government forces announced the full "liberation" of eastern Mosul in January 2017. But the west of the city presents a more difficult challenge, with its narrow, winding streets. IS has launched multiple suicide attacks against Iraqi forces in western neighbourhoods.

More than 180,000 civilians have fled the city since the latest assault on west Mosul began on 19 February, according to the Iraqi government. Most have taken refuge in nearby camps and reception centres. Others have gone to stay with relatives and friends.

There is also deep concern for the hundreds of thousands of people who remain in western Mosul. Food supplies are running very low, and some families say they cannot find any food at all. Clean drinking water is also in very short supply.

The UN said in late January that almost half of all the casualties in Mosul were civilians. At least 1,494 have been killed and 1,219 injured across Nineveh province since the start of October.

Lt Gen Stephen Townsend, the coalition's task force commander, described the recapture of eastern Mosul as a "monumental achievement" for the Iraqi people, but warned there was "still a long way to go" before IS was eliminated from Iraq.

It took from mid-October until 8 January 2017 for Iraqi forces to advance as far as the River Tigris and another two weeks to gain full control of the eastern side of Mosul.

Elsewhere in the region, the Shia-dominated, paramilitary Popular Mobilisation force has been advancing westwards towards the town of Tal Afar, another IS bastion, and the border with Syria.

Contradictory reports mean it is difficult to know exactly how much territory has been regained.

The maps shown here are based on expert analysis from two different sources, the Institute for the Study of War (for the recent advances) and IHS Conflict Monitor for territory.

According to analysis by IHS Conflict Monitor, IS fighters have been losing territory since the offensive began. However, gains slowed when Iraqi government forces met stiff resistance in the city of Mosul.

Satellite images have revealed extensive damage to Mosul's infrastructure, buildings and archaeological sites - in particular to the city's airport and bridges.

Mosul airport

Imagery, released by US geopolitical intelligence company Stratfor in October 2016, showed how IS fighters sabotaged much of the city's airport, with wide trenches carved into it and rubble placed along their lengths.

The images also show how coalition airstrikes, aimed at destroying key IS positions and assets, caused damage to Mosul's sugar factory - a facility kept in action by the militants.

Imagery also revealed how the jihadists constructed multiple barricades across key routes into the city, including north of the airport.

The barriers have been made out of concrete blocks and other rubble, Stratfor's analysis says, possibly from the walls of destroyed buildings.

Mosul's bridges

All bridges linking the east and west of the city, across the Tigris river, were also destroyed.

In the centre of the city, four of the five main bridges were put out of action in October and November by coalition air strikes, with the aim of limiting the jihadists' ability to resupply or reinforce their positions in the east.

The Old Bridge - the only remaining route open to vehicles in the centre of the city - was disabled in a US-led coalition air strike at the end of December.

Iraqi forces have since recaptured two of the bridges, the Fourth bridge and al-Hurriya, also known as the al-Jamhuriya. They will either have to repair them or install floating bridges to reconnect east and west Mosul.

Stratfor images show how the bridges were damaged.

Al-Hurriya Bridge

A US air strike damaged the al-Hurriya Bridge at the eastern end last October, but IS then set up a barrier on the western side

Fourth Bridge

In November 2016, a US air strike damaged the bridge, but more recently it was rendered impassable by further damage,

Humanitarian crisis

The UN has warned that the offensive to retake western Mosul could displace up to 400,000 civilians and involve a siege in the densely-populated old city.

More than 355,000 people have fled their homes in and around Mosul as a result of the conflict - more than 180,000 of them have fled since the campaign began to retake the west of the city on 19 February.

More than 195,000 displaced Iraqis are now living in the 21 camps built by the UN and other agencies around Mosul. More camps are planned to cope with the sudden spike in refugees caused by the offensive against western Mosul.

The organisation says many of those who have fled Mosul and ended up in the camps have witnessed the deaths of relatives, friends and neighbours. Children are showing severe signs of trauma - such as excessive crying, mutism, bed-wetting and fear of leaving their parents.







« Last Edit: March 24, 2017, 08:04:21 by Eye In The Sky »
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Op IMPACT extended to 30 June 2017?
« Reply #1396 on: March 31, 2017, 11:13:50 »
This from the Info-machine ...
Quote
The Government of Canada remains strongly committed to defeating Da’esh and responding to the needs of people who have been displaced or devastated by war in Iraq, Syria, and the region.

Today, Defence Minister Harjit S. Sajjan announced that the Government of Canada is extending Canada’s current military contribution to the fight against Da’esh until June 30, 2017.

This extension provides the Government of Canada the time required to assess the evolving nature of the fight while allowing the Canadian Armed Forces to maintain their important contributions to ongoing operations as a responsible coalition partner.

The scope and mission of Canada’s military contribution will remain the same over the next three months, with a few adjustments.  As a result of recent successes in the campaign, some elements of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force have recently been operating in Eastern Mosul, providing advice and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces.  There has been no change to their mandate or to the parameters of their mission.  Canadian troops remain behind the forward line of troops, and are providing advice and assistance to Iraqi Forces.

Canada has implemented a comprehensive and integrated approach to do its part in defeating Da’esh, restore basic government services in Iraq, and enable citizens to return to their homes in newly-liberated areas.

Canadians will be regularly updated as this mission continues to evolve.
... and this via CTV.ca:
Quote
Canada is extending its anti-ISIS mission in Iraq until June 30, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Friday.

Sajjan says Canada's contribution to the mission will remain the same, "with a few adjustments."

Some elements of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force have recently been operating in eastern Mosul, providing assistance to Iraqi Security Forces. “There has been no change to their mandate or to the parameters of their mission.” the Department of National Defence said in a statement.

“This extension provides the government of Canada the time required to assess the evolving nature of the fight while allowing the Canadian Armed Forces to maintain their important contributions to ongoing operations as a responsible coalition partner,” the Department of National Defence said.
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1397 on: March 31, 2017, 11:55:58 »
And from CBC.  Article Link

Canada extends mission against ISIS in northern Iraq to June 30

'Advise and assist' mission was set to expire, extension 'provides time to assess evolving nature of fight'

With operations against ISIS at a critical stage in northern Iraq, Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan announced Friday that Canada will extend its training mission there by three months.

The Canadian Forces will continue operations until June 30, providing "the time required to assess the evolving nature of the fight."

Canada is part of a coalition working with Iraqi troops to recapture territory taken over by the Islamist group, also known as Daesh, restore basic government services and enable citizens who fled to return to their homes.

A news release said the scope and mission of Canada's contribution, often characterized as an "advise and assist" operation, will remain the same this spring, "with a few adjustments."

"As a result of recent successes in the campaign, some elements of the Canadian Special Operations Task Force have recently been operating in eastern Mosul, providing advice and assistance to Iraqi Security Forces," it read.

Canadian troops remain behind the forward line of troops, and are providing advice and assistance to Iraqi Forces," the government said.

Canadian troops had been stationed around Erbil, where its operations had included a military hospital.

But the fighting in and around Mosul has been intense recently, as the fight to retake control over the strategically important city continues.

"While the geography and partners have expanded, the mandate of training, advising, assisting, and equipping remains unchanged," a statement from the chief of the defence staff, Gen. Jonathan Vance, said.

"The mission may change further as the situation evolves and Canadians should expect further adjustments as the situation warrants."

"It is clear that coalition efforts are having a real impact on the ground," Sajjan said in the release.

The military said Friday that 3,600 personnel have been part of rotations for the mission so far. As of March 28, Canadian aircraft who remained in theatre after Canada's CF-18s returned home have conducted 695 aerial refuelling sorties and 753 reconnaissance missions.

In addition to the special forces soldiers acting as intelligence officers and training Iraqi soldiers on the ground, Canada has also contributed tactical helicopters to the coalition mission.


And...

U.S. urges more support from coalition partners in fight against ISIS   March 22nd, 2017

Declaring the Islamic State group's destruction its top Middle East priority, the Trump administration on Wednesday urged coalition partners to contribute more to forces who are retaking Iraq's second largest city and readying an assault on the extremists' self-declared Syrian capital. There was no apparent announcement of a new overall strategy, however.

Addressing top diplomats of the 68-nation coalition, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called for new ideas to expand the fight against ISIS in the Iraqi city of Mosul and accelerate the campaign to chase militants from Raqqa, Syria, while preparing for the complex humanitarian and political consequences of both efforts.
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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1398 on: March 31, 2017, 18:52:39 »
Wasn't the mission set to expire today? Talk about cutting it close.

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Re: Op IMPACT: CAF in the Iraq & Syria crisis
« Reply #1399 on: March 31, 2017, 19:37:09 »
If gov't wants to save big bucks could withdraw CC-150 and CP-140s plus support personnel.

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