Carter: Defense Ministers Agree on Next Steps in Counter-ISIL Fight
By Cheryl Pellerin DoD News, Defense Media Activity
WASHINGTON, July 20, 2016 – Defense ministers and other senior
leaders of the counter-Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant coalition
have agreed on next steps in the accelerated fight against the terrorist
army in Iraq and Syria, Defense Secretary Ash Carter said today.
Carter hosted the meeting, the third of its kind, at Joint Base
Andrews in Maryland for the representatives of more than 30 nations
from the coalition and NATO to discuss the ongoing military campaign
against ISIL and plans for upcoming offensives.
"In January this year, we updated our comprehensive coalition
military campaign plan, … and we've pursued a number of deliberate
decisions and actions to accelerate this plan and hasten ISIL's lasting
defeat," Carter said during a news conference after the meeting.
Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander of U.S. Central Command, attended the meeting and joined Carter at the news conference.
Since then, he added, "in play after play, town after town,
from every direction and in every domain, our campaign has accelerated
further, squeezing ISIL and rolling it back toward Raqqa and Mosul. By
isolating these two cities, we're effectively setting the stage to
collapse ISIL's control over them."
Carter said the ministers agreed today on the next plays in the
campaign that will culminate in the collapse of ISIL's control over
Mosul and Raqqa.