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News | April 15, 2015

US, Iraqi defense leaders reaffirm commitment

By DoD News

WASHINGTON, April 15, 2015 - Bilateral cooperation and progress in countering the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant terrorists highlighted a meeting at the Pentagon Tuesday between Defense Secretary Ash Carter and Iraqi Defense Minister Khalid al-Obeidi.

In a statement summarizing the meeting, Pentagon officials said the two leaders reaffirmed their commitment to degrading and ultimately defeating ISIL, focusing on the next steps in the effort.

Carter also congratulated Obeidi on Iraq's successful retaking of Tikrit and reiterated the Defense Department's strong support for Iraqi-led counter-ISIL efforts, officials said. The secretary also emphasized the importance of inclusive governance and respect for local populations in Tikrit and all areas liberated from ISIL control, they added.

The two defense leaders also coordinated views on current U.S. equipping efforts, the statement said, and discussed how the United States 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," the statement said.