Location: Iraq and Syria
The Global Coalition to Counter ISIL is made up of over 60 state members all with the express task of defeating ISIL. Each state contributes military forces or resources, or both, as part of the initiative.
Some countries, particularly those from the West, such as the US, UK and France, carry out military efforts such as airstrikes to combat IS in Iraq and Syria or training – these states also include strong military powers in the Middle East like Jordan. Operation Inherent Resolve makes up the military component of the coalition. Some states chose to only operate in either Iraq or Syria, due to a number of varying reasons, such as capacity, location, or affiliations. The Building Partner Capacity (BPC) training in Iraq, was designed to train Iraqi Army and Peshmerga units in various tactical subjects to include CIED, an area both requested training in. Many of the BPC initiatives have focused on training, but have also seen provision of CIED equipment for Iraqi forces. This engagement has seen a considerable improvement in military and police CIED capabilities across Iraq.
Others states, such as Cyprus and Jordan, allow Western and other more remote allies use their bases ready to conduct training or strikes, as well as aid drops. Israel, though not a part of the Coalition, provides intelligence to assist in the counter ISIL operations. Some Middle East states focus on their own borders, whilst remaining a part of the coalition. Other states are engaged through the provision of aid. For example, Japan granted $6million in emergency aid for displaced people in Northern Iraq.
The Coalition’s Strategic Communications Working Group seeks to counteract the threat of ISIL’s recruitment and other propaganda efforts. The Counter-ISIL Finance Group, aims to stop the flow of funding to IS through assisting state efforts to monitor and investigate terrorism financing, alongside other preventative efforts. The coalition’s working group on Foreign Terrorist Fighters, seeks to stop the flow of terrorist fighters into Iraq and Syria. INTERPOL has joined the coalition in supporting these efforts – stemming the flow of foreign fighters and finance. Lastly, the Stabilisation Working Group addresses the humanitarian crisis left in the wake of IS.
Over 15,000 air strikes have been conducted by the coalition in Iraq and Syria, and over 30,000 personnel have been providing with training. The flow of foreign terrorist fighters to Syria and Iraq has decreased, whilst many are also leaving the group. ISIS fighters salaries have seen cuts and their efforts to recruit, diminished.
With coalition support, local forces have captured almost 10,000km2 in northeastern Syria and retaken nearly 30,000km2 in Iraq, including key supply routes and other strategic areas.
The US’ average daily spend on counter-IS military efforts is thought to be approximately $12.3 million.
This profile is part of AOAV’s investigation into counter-IED (C-IED) actors around the globe. To see the list of all C-IED actors recorded by AOAV, see here. To see those engaged in the Middle East, the Sahel, North Africa or other highly impacted countries please see here, here, here, and here respectively. This research was made possible by funding from the NATO Counter Improvised Explosive Devices Centre of Excellence (C-IED COE). To read the full report, ‘Addressing the threat posed by IEDs: National, Regional and Global Initiatives’, see here.
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