Austin Notes Success of Territorial Defeat of ISIS in Iraq

Austin Notes Success of Territorial Defeat of ISIS in Iraq

This year marks 10 years of the global coalition to defeat ISIS, Secretary of Defense Lloyd J. Austin III said today while hosting a meeting and an enhanced honor cordon, to welcome Iraqi Prime Minister Mohammed Shia al-Sudani to the Pentagon.

“In 2019, thanks to the courage and sacrifices of the Iraqi security forces and our partners in Operation Inherent Resolve, together, we achieved the territorial defeat of Daesh. But Daesh remains a threat to your citizens and to ours,” Austin said, referring to another name for ISIS.

The U.S. agrees on the need to transition to an enduring bilateral security relationship between the United States and Iraq, he said.

As a part of this transition, an agreement was reached at the inaugural U.S.-Iraq Joint Security Corporation Dialogue in Washington last August to launch the higher military commission, he said.

In that commission, military leaders are conducting joint assessments of key factors to help inform discussions on the upcoming transition, the secretary said.

“These are deep and respectful discussions between partners, which reflect the deep U.S. commitment to regional stability and Iraqi sovereignty. And they show how the U.S.-Iraq relationship is evolving,” Austin said.

Austin noted that on Saturday, Iraq’s minister of defense signed a letter of request for the pricing and availability of counter-unmanned aerial systems from the United States. “That reflects many months of work, and the signing came at an extremely important moment.”

The Iraqi prime minister said this meeting shows the resolve of the Iraqi government to promote its relations with the United States.

“The Iraqi people really appreciate the efforts of the international community to support them to fight ISIS and militarism on its territory,” he said.

Earlier today, President Joe Biden met with al-Sudani in the White House. Biden told the prime minister: “The partnership between Iraq and the United States is critical. We’ve seen over the last decade as our troops have served side by side to help defeat ISIS, and we’ve seen this in our Strategic Framework Agreement as well.”

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