IMMEDIATE RELEASE Readout of Secretary Mattis' Call with Iraqi Minister of Defense Arfan al-Hayali Feb. 8, 2017 News Release Release No: NR-050-17 Pentagon Spokesman Capt. Jeff Davis provided the following readout: Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis spoke today by phone with Iraqi Defense Minister Arfan al-Hayali to discuss the strong U.S.-Iraq defense partnership in the fight against ISIS. Secretary Mattis congratulated Minister 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. 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.