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News | June 21, 2016

Carter praises New Zealand, Poland for anti-ISIL efforts

By DoD News

WASHINGTON (June 21, 2016) — Defense Secretary Ash Carter released statements last night welcoming decisions by two coalition nations that he said would accelerate the effort to bring about a lasting defeat to the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.

Poland announced that it will deploy 60 special operations forces to Iraq, as well as four F-16s and associated personnel to Kuwait for reconnaissance missions over Iraq and Syria. New Zealand will keep up to 143 trainers for the partner-capacity-building mission at Taji, Iraq, until November 2018, will provide additional training of Iraqi security forces in Besmaya, and will authorize the training of stabilization forces.

Global Threat Requires Global Undertaking

Last week, Carter said, he discussed with Polish Defense Minister Antoni Macierewicz in Brussels and with New Zealand Defense Minister Gerry Brownlee in Stuttgart, Germany, his belief that the lasting defeat of ISIL must be a global undertaking, because ISIL is a global threat.

“Expanding the resources dedicated to the fight allows us to further accelerate the campaign,” Carter said of Poland’s decision to expand its counter-ISIL role. “I am grateful for the meaningful action of the Polish government following the meetings last week, and for the commitment from the Polish people to this fight.”

The secretary noted an earlier decision by New Zealand to deploy a C-130 Hercules and up to 40 personnel to support coalition operations and that New Zealand also has pledged $1 million in stabilization funding for Iraq.

“I am grateful to the government of New Zealand and Minister Brownlee for the decision to take these meaningful actions and to the people of New Zealand for their staunch support in this fight,” Carter said.