Military Operations in the 2000s

Operation Iraqi Freedom and Follow-On


Materials arranged chronologically.

Associated Press. "Officials Say Iraq Pullout Hurt US Spying." 26 Jun. 2014. []

Current and former officials say that in Iraq "CIA officers have been largely hunkered down in their heavily fortified Baghdad compound since U.S. troops left the country in 2011,... allowing a once-rich network of intelligence sources to wither."

Thompson, Mark. "Armed U.S. Drones Flying Over Baghdad." Time, 27 Jun. 2014. []

A senior Pentagon official said on 27 June 2014 that "[a]rmed U.S. drones are flying over the Iraqi capital of Baghdad,... primed to defend U.S. troops and diplomats on the ground -- or to attack insurgents challenging the Iraqi government if President Barack Obama orders such strikes.... MQ-1 Predators, outfitted with Hellfire missiles, have begun flying missions over Baghdad and elsewhere in Iraq from an airbase in Kuwait, a military official said." See also, Chelsea J. Carter, Arwa Damon, and Raja Razek, "U.S. Has Armed Drones over Baghdad, Official Says," CNN, 27 Jun. 2014.

Whitlock, Craig, and Greg Jaffe. "U.S. Sending Weapons Directly to Kurdish Forces, Officials Say." Washington Post, 11 Aug. 2014. []

U.S. officials said on 11 August 2014 the the "U.S. government has begun to funnel weapons directly to Kurdish forces fighting Islamist militants in northern Iraq." Washington has opened a covert "pipeline to the Kurds via the CIA, according to two U.S. officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity."

Miller, Greg. "U.S. Strikes in Syria against Islamic State Would Be Hindered by Intelligence Gaps." Washington Post, 23 Aug. 2014. []

According to U.S. officials, a U.S. offensive in Syria against ISIS/ISIL/Islamic State "would likely be constrained by persistent intelligence gaps and an inability to rely on fleets of armed drones.... The Pentagon has conducted daily surveillance flights along Iraq's border with Syria in recent weeks.... The CIA has also expanded its network of informants inside Syria, largely by recruiting and vetting rebel fighters who have been trained and equipped at clandestine agency bases in Jordan over the past two years, U.S. officials said."

DeYoung, Karen, and Missy Ryan. "Senior ISIS Leader Killed in U.S. Raid in Syria." Washington Post, 16 May 2015. []

According to a White House statement on 16 May 2015, a U.S. Special Operations raid inside Syria on 15 May 2015 killed Abu Sayyaf, "a senior Islamic State leader." Abu Sayyaf's wife, "who was said to be an Islamic State member, was captured during the operation, and a young [Yazidi] woman who appeared to be held as a slave of the couple, was freed." A U.S. Defense official said that the raid :was carried out by a team of the Army's Delta Force troops, who traveled in Black Hawk helicopters and Osprey aircraft.... [A]bout a dozen militants were killed" in a firefight.

Castillo, Walbert. "Air Force Intel Uses ISIS 'Moron' Post to Track Fighters." CNN, 5 Jun. 2015. []

In a speech to the Air Force Association in Arlington, Virginia, on 1 June 2015, Gen. Hawk Carlisle, commander of Air Combat Command, said "U.S. Air Force intelligence has been using" social media "to track down Islamic State militants." The general "gushed about the team at Hurlburt Field [Florida], home of the Air Force's 1st Special Operations Wing."

Seck, Hope Hodge. "Marine Raiders to Lead Joint Spec Ops Fight against ISIS." Marine Corps Times, 26 Aug. 2015. []

Capt. Barry Morris, a spokesman for Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, has said that the Marine Corps' "special operations command will lead the next rotation of operators into Iraq.... Marine Raiders will head the staff element for the next iteration of Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Iraq [CJSOTF].... The unit is set to deploy early next year and will be led by a MARSOC colonel."

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