US War against ISIS ‘Far from Over’: Pentagon

US War against ISIS ‘Far from Over’: Pentagon
Wed May 4, 2016 22:40:16

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter says the US-led military campaign against the Daesh (ISIS / ISIL) terrorist group “is far from over,” one day after the terror group killed a US Navy SEAL in Iraq.

Speaking  on Wednesday to defense ministers from 11 countries at the US military's European Command headquarters in Stuttgart, Germany, Carter expressed condolences for Navy SEAL Charlie Keating’s death, saying that the US-led coalition had to do a lot more to curb the terror group.

"That point was brought into stark relief by yesterday's attack on Peshmerga forces in northern Iraq, which unfortunately claimed the life of an American service member," Carter said.

Killed by a sniper in northern Iraq, Keating was the third American serviceman to die in combat in Iraq since the US and its allies launched a military campaign against purported ISIS positions in the summer of 2014.

The Stuttgart session, attended by ministers from France, Britain and Germany, were planned well ahead of Keating’s death and explored ways to strengthen the campaign against ISIS.

Carter urged Washington’s allies at the convention to look for opportunities to do more, even as he expressed confidence the campaign was headed for a victory.

"With your help, it will go faster," he said.

The meeting was a follow-up to a similar session Carter led in the Belgian capital city of Brussels in mid-February.

The top US military official had announced in January that more than 200 US troops were deployed to Iraq.

With the new decision, the administration of President Barack Obama raised the US troop level in Iraq to 4,087, up from the previous 3,870 forces that the Pentagon had deployed.

In recent months, Carter has been focused on encouraging US allies to take a larger role in the campaign by dedicating more forces and equipment.

ISIS terrorists were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government and now control parts of the country and the neighboring Iraq.

S/SH 11

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