Anti-ISIL fight in Syria and Iraq gets a name: 'Inherent Resolve'

Anti-ISIL fight in Syria and Iraq gets a name: 'Inherent Resolve'

WASHINGTON - Agence France-Presse
Anti-ISIL fight in Syria and Iraq gets a name: Inherent Resolve

A pair of U.S. Air Force F-15E Strike Eagles fly over northern Iraq after conducting airstrikes in Syria, in this U.S. Air Force handout photo taken early in the morning of Sept. 23, 2014. REUTERS Photo

After more than two months of air strikes, American commanders have finally decided on a name for the U.S.-led war against jihadists of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL): "Operation Inherent Resolve."       

The decision was taken "a few days ago" by the chiefs of all the armed services, said Colonel Ed Thomas, spokesman for the U.S. military's top officer, General Martin Dempsey.

"The operation is called 'Operation Inherent Resolve,'" Thomas told reporters Oct. 15.

The name had already been cited in previous media reports as a possible choice that was rejected by some officers.

The U.S. military's Central Command, which oversees the air campaign, said the the name was meant "to reflect the unwavering resolve and deep commitment of the U.S. and partner nations in the region and around the globe to eliminate the terrorist group ISIL."       

The name also symbolized the "dedication of coalition members to work closely with our friends in the region and apply all available dimensions of national power necessary - diplomatic, informational, military, economic - to degrade and ultimately destroy" the Islamic State group, it said.

The U.S. military usually wastes no time in announcing the name of a military operation.        

The named operations also offer a way of organizing medals for service and valor, and that requirement might have provided the top brass an extra incentive to arrive at a decision.

The 2003 American invasion of Iraq was known as Operation Iraqi Freedom, and the war in Afghanistan is still known as Operation Enduring Freedom.

During the U.S. occupation of Iraq from 2003 to 2011, there were more than 500 named operations, including Operation Airborne Dragon, Operation Soda Mountain and Operation Tapeworm.

Shortly after troops began arriving in Liberia last month to help in the effort against the Ebola outbreak, the Pentagon unveiled the name of that mission: Operation United Assistance.

U.S. warplanes started bombing ISIL n Iraq in early August, but the mission has had been no official moniker until now.

Some commentators alleged that the lack of a name reflected the White House's lack of enthusiasm for intervening in Iraq and Syria, but U.S. officials dismissed the idea as ridiculous.

Some reporters tweeted suggestions for possible names, including one favorite that referred to the American-made Humvee vehicles seized by ISIL militants -- "Operation Hey That's My Humvee."