101st Commander Offers Update on Fort Campbell Soldiers in Iraq
U.S. Army Major General Gary Volesky says recent terrorist attacks in the U.S. and Europe are some indication that the so-called Islamic State is losing in Iraq.
Members of the Fort Campbell 101st Airborne Division deployed to Iraq in March as part of the 18-nation Combined Joint Forces to train Iraqi Security Forces. In a live Facebook video from Baghdad Thursday, Volesky said morale is good as forces prepare to retake the ISIS stronghold of Mosul. He believes U.S. troops have made great strides against ISIS over the last several months.
“You look at their level of communication on social media, it dropped by 45 percent because we’re just crushing them," commented Volesky. "That’s why they’re really going to these attacks out in Brussels, Paris, California. They’re trying to export it to keep people’s attention off of what they’re losing here in Iraq.”
This is the second major deployment for the 101st within the last year, having returned in February from a five-month deployment in Liberia to assist in the fight against Ebola.
The 101st soldiers are on a nine-month rotation in Iraq and could be home by the end of the year, but Volesky says that can always change depending on conditions.