Service & Sacrifice: Getting Results

A snapshot of the burdens being shouldered by brave U.S. troops and military families around the world.

U.S. and coalition troops serving in Iraq march to commemorate the 30th anniversary of the Battle of Mogadishu on October 4, 2023.

By Tom Sileo Published on October 6, 2023

Middle East

Years of sacrifices by the brave men and women of the U.S. military have left ISIS with “a boot on their neck” in Syria.

According to a new report in The Washington Examiner, the commander of U.S. Air Forces Central believes the terrorist group has been significantly weakened in Syria, where about 900 American troops are serving.

“So they’re not in a position, ISIS in Syria, they’re not in a position to take significant action against us,” said Lt. Gen. Alexus Grynkewich, as quoted by The Washington Examiner. “They do have a fair number of cells. They’ve got a few senior leaders, they’ve got a few training grounds that are beyond the area where coalition forces routinely operate.”

One of those ISIS leaders, Abu Halil al-Fad’ani, was recently captured in a helicopter raid by U.S. troops. Helicopter missions against ISIS have been increasing in Syria, according to The Jerusalem Post, while the Examiner cites U.S. Central Command statistics stating that the military carried out “36 operations in August, which resulted in the deaths of seven ISIS operatives and the apprehension of 25 more.”

Syria is still gripped by violence, with the U.S. military shooting down an armed Turkish drone that was operating near coalition troops on Thursday and a separate horrific drone attack that terrorists carried out on a military college graduation ceremony. Violence also continues in neighboring Iraq, where about 2,500 U.S. troops are stationed.

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One lingering concern highlighted by Examiner defense reporter Mike Brest is the presence and possible growth of ISIS in Afghanistan, from which the U.S. military was withdrawn by the Biden administration in 2021. Lieutenant General Grynkewich is quoted as saying that with the Taliban back in power and controlling the flow of information with an iron fist, it’s hard to evaluate the strength of ISIS and other terrorist groups.

“I don’t think there’s a threat beyond the region right now. But ISIS-K certainly has aspirations to go farther,” Lt. Gen Grynkewich said. “They’re likely one of the most capable elements of ISIS right now and something that we need to keep a close eye on.”

Thank you to the thousands of valiant American warriors confronting terrorists in faraway lands even as few take notice here at home. Your hard work is getting results and keeping America and much of the world safe from ISIS and other evil terrorist groups.

Europe

As the debate over how much (if any) military aid the United States should keep sending to Ukraine polarizes the halls of Congress, the fighting and bloodshed continues.

At the same time, approximately 100,000 U.S. military personnel stationed across Europe are training for war. Even if the Russia-Ukraine conflict doesn’t wind up spilling into other countries, this recent report in Defense One explains how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has spurred massive training exercises involving U.S. and NATO troops all across the continent.

“The increased use of artillery, rockets, and surveillance at the training centers has meant higher simulated casualties, mirroring the losses faced by troops in Ukraine,” Defense One staff writer Sam Skove reports. “For (Brig. Gen. Curtis) Taylor, that means artillery now accounts for around 40 percent of casualties.

“(Brig. Gen. David) Gardner, meanwhile, is looking at how to evacuate soldiers from a battlefield where evacuation routes can be cut off easily, and considering how long a unit can keep fighting after taking casualties,” the report continues. “‘Do we really understand how many casualties makes a unit combat ineffective?’ said Gardner.”

Thank you to the tens of thousands of U.S. military service members serving in Europe.

Coming Home

U.S. Air Force airmen were welcomed home to South Carolina this week after finishing a deployment to the Al Udeid Air Base in Doha, Qatar.

Military Homecoming

A U.S. Air Force airman is welcomed home by his daughter at Joint Base Charleston in South Carolina on October 3, 2023.

Welcome home, warriors! Thank you for serving our country overseas.

 

Tom Sileo is a contributing senior editor of The Stream. He is the author of the forthcoming I Have Your Back, the recently released Be Bold and co-author of Three Wise MenBrothers Forever8 Seconds of Courage and Fire in My Eyes. Follow Tom on X @TSileo and The Stream at @Streamdotorg.

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