Carter, Iraqi Leaders Discuss Ways to Increase Pressure on ISIL

Defense Secretary Ash Carter yesterday discussed with Iraqi leaders ways to increase pressure on the Islamic State of Iraq and th Levant and to accelerate coalition progress against the terror group.

In Baghdad, Carter met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, as well as U.S. and coalition leaders during the visit.

The secretary received a progress update from U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Sean McFarland, the commander of Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, and from the U.S. embassy team.

“So I was able to get an update from him, and also to emphasize to him our desire … to accelerate and strengthen our campaign here,” Carter told reporters traveling with him.

Productive Meetings

Carter said he had productive meetings with the Iraqi prime minister and then the Iraqi defense minister.

“I discussed with them once again the desire of the United States and its other coalition partners to accelerate progress – the kind of progress that the Iraqi forces are exhibiting in Ramadi, building on that success to complete the recapture of Ramadi, and then continue the campaign with the important goal of retaking Mosul as soon as possible,” he said.

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