U.S. Secretary of Defense Visits Iraq

On December 16-17, Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter visited Iraq to meet with senior officials and reaffirm the U.S. commitment to the government of Iraq in the campaign to defeat Da’esh. During his December 16 meetings with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and Minister of Defense Khalid Al-Ubaidi, Secretary Carter praised the efforts and success of the Iraqi Security Forces against Da’esh in Anbar and Salah al Din. Secretary Carter also visited Erbil on December 17, where he met with Iraqi Kurdistan Region President Massoud Barzani and other senior officials. Secretary Carter commended President Barzani on the Peshmerga’s successful operation to liberate Sinjar and reaffirmed the United States’ commitment to coordinate closely with the Government of Iraq to ensure the Peshmerga have the weapons, equipment, and training necessary for continuing operations against Da’esh.