Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Iraqi Minister of Defense Khalid Al-Obeidi met today at the Pentagon to discuss bilateral cooperation and progress in the counter-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL campaign in Iraq. The two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL, focusing on next steps in the effort.
Secretary Carter congratulated Minister al-Obeidi on Iraq's successful retaking of Tikrit, and reiterated the department's strong support for Iraqi-led counter-ISIL efforts. Secretary Carter also emphasized the importance of inclusive governance and respect for local populations in Tikrit and all areas liberated from ISIL control. Secretary Carter and Minister al-Obeidi coordinated views on current U.S. equipping efforts and discussed how the U.S. can best support the Iraqi Security Forces, Kurdish Peshmerga, and Sunni tribal fighters.
Both leaders expressed hopes that this productive meeting would lay the foundation for further cooperation between the armed services of the U.S. and Iraq.