Support Any Friend, Oppose Any Foe by James Dietz
Limited Edition Print - Publisher Proof
Image Size: 15"h x 25"w
Overall Size: 21 1/2"h X 31"w
Publisher Proof: Series of 250
Hand signed and numbered by the artist, James Dietz.
Includes certificate of authenticity.
5th Special Forces Group (Airborne)—also known as “The Legion”—was instrumental from the earliest stages of the war against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) and continues leading the efforts to prevent a resurgence of the violent extremist organization throughout CENTCOM and the world.
In late 2014, following months of ISIS victories in Syria and Iraq, Legion elements
were repurposed from training advisory missions to combat roles, preventing the fall of Baghdad to ISIS. Demonstrating incredible adaptability, capability, and professionalism, these elements rapidly transitioned to a combat advisory role in Northern Iraq, assisting the Iraqi Army as it not only defeated but then advanced against ISIS. This first herculean accomplishment set the tone for the following four
years: 5th Group SFOD-As, AOBs, and Task Forces worked by, with, and through the Iraqi Army, Syrian Democratic Forces (SDF), and Maghawir al Thawra (MAT) partners until the inevitable collapse of the physical ISIS caliphate.
Members of the Legion have been a part of every significant milestone in the fight against ISIS, from the introduction of U.S. forces into Syria in December 2015 to the enduring Train, Advise, and Assist operations that continue to this day. During the winter of 2016-2017, Legion tactical units crossed into northern Syria, fighting alongside their SDF partners to defeat ISIS along the caliphate’s far-reaching borders. During sustained conflict against ISIS, 5th Group teams faced unprecedented uncertainty and navigated sensitive strategic relationships, embodying the capability expected and demanded of Special Forces Green Berets by all within the United States Government. The novel tactics used against ISIS elements required Legion teams to incorporate historical combined arms maneuver tactics and modern technologies, relying on their cultural knowledge and professional excellence as they fought ISIS and built additional capacity within local security force units. Green Berets demonstrated unrivaled courage and flexibility during just one instance by defending a newly established firebase in Northeastern Syria from being overrun by determined ISIS suicide bombers and VBIEDs, firmly demonstrating the Legion’s commitment to defeating ISIS and serving alongside their SDF partners.
In northern Syria, 5th Group elements supported the SDF’s campaign to liberate Raqqa Province beginning in May 2017 and culminating in the liberation of Raqqa City on 20 October 2017. 5th Group SFOD-As provided indirect fires and close air support to front-line SDF units as they liberated Tabqa and Manbij before encircling Raqqa, the de-facto ISIS capital, in early June. During the Battle of Raqqa, 5th Group supported nearly 15,000 SDF fighters in a multi-pronged assault that routed more than 4,000 ISIS militants and liberated at least 50,000 Syrians living under brutal ISIS occupation. On 17 October, the SDF captured the final ISIS strongholds in the National Hospital and National Stadium located in Raqqa’s old city area, declaring victory on 20 October 2017. Following the city’s liberation, Legion SFOD-As led cross-functional teams that supported SDF counter-insurgency efforts, trained local security forces, and advised civil councils to maintain stability and re-establish the rule of law.
In southern Syria, 5th Group formed Task Force-Jordan and partnered with the MAT and other rebel groups to establish a deconfliction zone (DCZ) in the tri-border region between Syria, Jordan, and Iraq. From At Tanf Garrison, Task Force-Jordan disrupted ISIS and other malign actor lines of communication along the Baghdad-Damascus Highway through the Badiya Desert beginning in late 2016. In the DCZ, 5th SFG (A) and indigenous partnered forces killed or captured more than 200 ISIS militants during separate engagements in the winter of 2017.
From 2018 through the spring of 2019, Legion elements fought the final remnants of ISIS in the Middle Euphrates River Valley, ultimately leading to the final defeat of the ISIS Field Army and the collapse of the physical ISIS caliphate at Baghuz. As of late 2021, 5th Group detachments have remained in Syria and continue to train SDF units, advise local councils, and assist various other holistic efforts to ensure the enduring defeat of ISIS and the continued security of northeast Syria.