82nd Airborne leader warns ISIS fight not finished

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Several hundred 82nd soldiers are working hand in hand with Iraq forces helping to train and advise those troops to help win the battle against ISIS.

FORT BRAGG
Several hundred 82nd Airborne soldiers will be coming home soon after nine months deployment to Iraq. Their mission there to advise and help train Iraqi troops fight ISIS forces, and speaking to ABC11 from Iraq on Monday, Maj. Gen. Richard Clarke said his troops have done an outstanding job training Iraqi troops but warned the fight isn't over yet.

As a young officer, Clarke was in Operation Desert Storm, fighting against Iraq troops.

Now the general and several hundred 82nd soldiers are working hand in hand with Iraq forces helping to train and advise those troops to help win the battle against ISIS.

"We are ready to help," Clarke said. "They still need assistance with equipment and training. They did not train between 2011 and 2014; three years with no training. They need time."

Clarke said since May of last year, with air strikes backing up Iraqi ground forces, ISIS has lost nearly 40 percent of the land they initially conquered. He said ISIS bomb factories and oil wells have been destroyed and damaged. He said ISIS is weaker now but still determined.

"They still fight hard," Clarke said. "We still see suicide bombers on a daily basis.

And the fight, Clarke said, goes on.

"We don't want to put any more blood or treasure, but they are being defeated," Clark said.

Later this month, Clarke turns over command to the 101st Division. A couple of big waves of 82nd troops should be coming home soon.

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