US Defense Secretary Jim Mattis (pictured) and Iraqi Defense Minister Arfan al-Hayali discussed the strong U.S.-Iraq defense partnership in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria during a phone call on Wednesday, Pentagon spokesman Navy Capt. Jeff Davis said.
In a statement summarizing the call, Davis said Mattis congratulated Hayali on his new position and praised the Iraqis' hard-won gains against ISIS, most recently in eastern Mosul.
“Both discussed planning for operations to liberate western Mosul,” Davis said. “Secretary Mattis and Minister Hayali affirmed their commitment to continued U.S.-Iraq cooperation and a strong partnership that will enable the Iraqis to deal ISIS a lasting defeat.”
(Source: US Dept of Defense)