Small Wars Journal

Major Combat Operations Against ISIS in Iraq Have Ended. What Happens Now?

Major Combat Operations Against ISIS in Iraq Have Ended. What Happens Now? By Todd South – Military Times

With the furling of a flag, top U.S. military leaders marked the “end of major combat operations against ISIS in Iraq” and a change to the U.S.-led coalition’s mission in the country.

But experts say while it’s likely that troop numbers in Iraq will decrease, those resources will likely spread out to assist nearby missions in the region — from the Arabian Peninsula to Afghanistan and missions in Africa.

On Monday, commanders transferred the land fight against any remaining ISIS holdouts in Iraq to Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, according to a coalition release.

That doesn’t mean all the troops are coming home, though.

When asked about troop levels during a briefing Monday, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis told Military Times that troop numbers are adjusted to ensure that the force is “fit for its current mission.”

And that mission will shift, “from supporting and enabling combat operations to the training and development of self-sufficient Iraqi security-related capabilities,” according to a coalition statement…

Read on.