Readout of Secretary of Defense Mattis' Meetings with Prime Minister Abadi and Minister of Defense Hayali
Readout provided by Pentagon Spokesperson Cmdr. Sarah Higgins:
Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visited Baghdad, Iraq today to meet with coalition commanders and political leaders. The purpose of the visit was to assess progress in the counter-ISIS campaign and discuss the strong U.S.-Iraq defense partnership. The secretary met with Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Minister of Defense Arfan al-Hayali, and he noted the respect Iraq's military has earned for its fighting ability. Secretary Mattis praised the Iraqis' hard-won gains against ISIS, and the leaders discussed operations to liberate Mosul. Secretary Mattis, Prime Minister Abadi, 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.
Secretary Mattis ended his visit by meeting U.S. and coalition troops. He thanked them for their commitment and their service.