As U.S. troops prepare to depart from Syria, reports begin to emerge that describe how the military managed to drive back ISIS and reduce it to a small shadow of its power. Aside from the importance of air power and the involvement of Special Operations Forces (SOF) in support of Iraqi, Kurdish, and Syrian rebel forces, Psychological Operations (PSYOP) formed a considerable part of the American strategy.

According to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request by The Drive, the Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve (CJTF-OIR) used 25 audio messages to demoralise ISIS fighters and encourage them to defect or retreat. Local languages and dialects were used.

The U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) didn’t disclose the methods of broadcasting. It could have been transmitted by EC-130J Commando Solo, dropped in the form of leaflets by other aircraft, broadcast by speakers mounted on Humvees, or by other, more covert, methods.

Some of the messages tried to sow division between local and foreign ISIS fighters: