Carter Meets With French, Turkish Counterparts on Counter-ISIL Campaign
While in Brussels for a conference of NATO defense ministers, Defense Secretary Ash Carter met today with his French and Turkish counterparts to discuss the campaign to counter the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said.
In a statement summarizing what he called a “productive” meeting, Cook said Carter, French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian and Turkish Defense Minister Fikri Işık focused on the counter-ISIL campaign in Iraq and Syria, including an update on military operations to retake the Iraqi city of Mosul and the Syrian city of Raqqa.
Grateful for Counter-ISIL Contributions
“The secretary thanked Minister Le Drian and Minister Işık for their countries' contributions to the campaign, while emphasizing the need for the coalition to maintain pressure on ISIL on multiple fronts,” the press secretary said. “The ministers also discussed the need to solidify and consolidate recent gains by Turkish-backed Syrian opposition forces along the Turkey-Syria border, and the need to maintain military cooperation in the area.”
All sides agreed to maintain frequent communication on the full range of security interests, he added, and to continue their close coordination and continued transparency in the coalition effort to deal ISIL a lasting defeat.
The NATO meeting is Carter’s last stop in an overseas trip that has included visits to Turkey and France, as well as to Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.