US deploys forces for counterterrorism operations

The United States has sent forces to undertake counterterrorism operations and to advise, support, and accompany the security forces of certain foreign partners during counterterrorism operations. These missions all take place in the context of this context.

To make progress in the fight against terrorism, the United States continues to collaborate with partners located all over the world, with a particular emphasis being placed on the areas of responsibility held by the United States Central and Africa Commands.

In the majority of these places, the role of United States military personnel is to aid the operations of foreign partner forces in the fight against terrorism; their mandate does not include routine engagement in combat. In order to meet this potential requirement, the United States may deploy United States military personnel armed with weapons and other appropriate equipment for the purpose of force protection. The following section includes specific information about counterterrorism deployments to chosen countries, and an attached classified appendix to this report gives extra information about these deployments.

Military operations carried out in accordance with the Authorization for the Use of Military Force from 2001 and in support of related counterterrorism objectives set by the United States.

Since the 7th of October in 2001, the armed forces of the United States, notably the Special Operations Forces, have been engaged in counterterrorism combat operations. These operations have included attacks against al-Qa’ida and affiliated forces.

Targeting members of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), previously known as Islamic State of Iraq as well as the Levant (ISIL), which was once known as al-Qa’ida in Iraq, has been a part of these operations since August of 2014. In order to provide assistance for these and other overseas operations, the United States has sent combat-ready forces to multiple places within the areas of responsibility of the United States Central, European, African, Southern, and Indo-Pacific Commands. These kinds of activities and deployments have been documented in the past in accordance with the War Powers Resolution, Public Law 107-40, and other statutes as well. ISIS’s capabilities in Syria and Iraq have been significantly hampered as a result of these ongoing operations, which have been carried out by the United States with the support of a large number of international partners.

In the event that it is required, I will instruct additional actions to be taken in response to terrorist threats in order to defend the people and interests of the United States. It is not feasible to determine at this time the specific breadth of the deployments of the United States Armed Forces that are or will be necessary to address terrorist threats to the United States. Nor is it possible to know how long these deployments will last.

Afghanistan. Military forces from the United States continue to be stationed outside of Afghanistan in order to respond to any threats that may come from within Afghanistan that may affect the United States homeland or the interests of the United States.

Iraq, as well as Syria. The United States Armed Forces, as part of a comprehensive strategy to defeat ISIS, are working by, with, as well as through local partners to conduct operations against ISIS forces in Iraq and Syria and against al-Qa’eda in Syria. The purpose of these operations is to limit the potential for resurgence of these groups and to mitigate threats to the homeland of the United States of America. There is still a modest presence of the United States Armed Forces in strategically key sites in Syria. This presence is there to undertake operations in conjunction with local ground forces who have been vetted. These operations are being conducted to counter ongoing terrorist threats emerging from Syria.

The United States Armed Forces in Iraq continue to advise, support, and enable certain parts of the Iraqi security forces, notably the security forces of the Iraqi Kurdish region. The United States Armed Forces also provide a hand, albeit in a more limited capacity, to the role of North Atlantic Treaty Organization in Iraq. The United States Armed Forces continue to be deployed in Iraq at the invitation of the Iraqi government as part of global coalition to defeat Islamic State of Iraq as well as Syria (ISIS).

According to a report from the 25th of March 2023, I gave the order for United States forces to undertake precise strikes against sites in eastern Syria on March 23, 2023. These facilities were utilized by groups affiliated with Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) for command and control, munitions storage, and other purposes. This came after a string of attacks on United States personnel and facilities in Iraq and Syria, which were carried out by militia groups linked with Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC). These actions posed a direct risk to the lives of United States and Coalition personnel. During one such attack, which took place on March 23, 2023, a military support contractor for the United States of America was tragically killed, and six other people, including five members of the United States military, were injured.

In accordance with my constitutional authority as Commander in Chief and Chief Executive Officer, as well as my responsibility to protect United States citizens both at home and abroad, as well as to further the national security and foreign policy interests of the United States, I directed this discrete military action. This action was taken in furtherance of the interests of the United States in both national security and foreign policy.

 

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