In early 2014, the Islamic State, also known as ISIS, emerged as one of the most brutal extremist organizations in the world. The group quickly conquered large swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria, subjecting the people living in those areas to unspeakable acts of cruelty. One of the cities captured during this time was Mosul, the largest city in Northern Iraq, with an estimated population (pre-ISIS) of over 1.8 million people.
Prior to its capture by ISIS, Mosul and its surrounding areas had an ethnically and religiously diverse population; the majority of Mosul’s population were Arabs, with Assyrians, Armenians, Turkmens, Kurds, and Yazidis, in addition to some other, smaller ethnic minorities. However, since its capture in June of 2014 by ISIS militants, the city has experienced untold horrors from mass murder to brutal public executions.
In October 2016, the Iraqi Government launched its long-awaited campaign to retake the city. In the months since the beginning of the operation, significant gains have been made to pry ISIS out of its last major stronghold in Iraq. However, the toll from fighting in such a large city has taken a toll on the Iraqi Security Forces (ISF) and their premier unit the Counter Terrorism Service (CTS).
With nearly two years to reinforce the city, ISIS has turned Mosul into a death trap. Rings of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) used to channelize ISF into ambushes are followed by more rings of IEDs. According to US Special Operations Advisors in Iraq, their partners at the CTS have identified IEDs as the top threat to their Special Operators; medical supplies and metal detectors are the top priorities.
While the CTS and the ISF are working hard to keep up with the soaring demand for individual first aid kits, tourniquets, and mine detection equipment, more are needed.
Spirit of America is there on the front lines working to provide equipment and supplies to address these identified needs and gaps. With your help, we can save lives and help mitigate the damage done by the Islamic State.
Earlier this year I wrote an update about the incredibly heroic efforts of the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS) in the outlying areas of Mosul. CTS is a primary US partner in the coalition against ISIS and, coincidentally, a force I advised some years ago. A couple of weeks ago, I had the opportunity to … Continued
Dear Supporters, The project I want to share with you today is especially important to me. It involves the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), a group with whom I worked closely when I was commander of a Special Forces detachment in Iraq not long ago. I understand the need to support their safety and success … Continued
This project takes on a rather personal flavor. For me, the soldiers of the Iraqi Special Operations Forces (ISOF) who make up the Iraqi Counter Terrorism Service (CTS), are more than just one of the US’s far-flung proxy forces. They are friends and brothers that left an indelible mark on me and my Regiment. First, … Continued