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Operation Inherent Resolve Commanding General provides update on ISIS

(Source: KXXV) (Source: KXXV)
(Source: Department of Defense) (Source: Department of Defense)
FORT HOOD, TX (KXXV) -

Lieutenant General Paul Funk had been in the Middle East since August.

General Funk spoke at the Association of the U.S. Army luncheon on post Tuesday to provide an update on Operation Inherent Resolve, a mission that's evolving due to their success.

"We have some great, young Americans and 71 nations with us in a coalition that are defeating the most evil terrorists on the planet, and that is ISIS," said LTG Funk, Commanding General of III Corps and Fort Hood as well as Operation Inherent Resolve. 

General Paul Funk says as of March, 7.7 million people have been liberated from ISIS in Iraq and Syria. 

"The physical caliphate in both Iraq and Syria's been defeated," LTG Funk added.  

While giving an update on Operation Inherent Resolve, General Funk said there are only a couple of small pockets of ISIS fighters still located in the region.

"Now, the local security forces can manage that process in Iraq, with our help still, but that's okay... they are in fact on the leading edge of it," LTG Funk said. 

The General said the mission now is moving toward advise and assist operations with Iraqi leaders and soldiers. 

"What I think Prime Minister al-Abadi would say is, I don't need your actual foot soldiers, I need your advisers, and I need air power, and I need your intel, and I need you to help me drive the force," LTG Funk added.  

That's why Operation Reliable Partnership was created.

"We won't be the guys entering the building and clearing the room. We will be at Division and Corps level advising and assisting as the Iraqis execute the operations," LTG Funk said. 

General Funk said as long as the enemy exists, there will be terrorist attacks, but the Iraqi Security Forces are equipped and ready to shut down anything that happens. 

"I predict that the Iraqi army will be the best army, well certainly, the best army Iraq's ever seen in the next five to 10 years ... and will challenge the finest armies in the Middle East, it'll be that good," LTG Funk said. 

Operation Reliable Partnership is a sub-component of Operation Inherent Resolve and does not replace the original mission. 

General Funk will return to the Middle East by the end of the week to finish out his deployment. He is expected to redeploy home late summer. 

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