Defense secretary praises Iraq, coalition forces for retaking of Ramadi

A Royal Danish Air Force F-16 conducts an airstrike on ISIL targets in Iraq, part of the coalition Operation Inherent Resolve effort to counter the terrorist groups activities.
A Royal Danish Air Force F-16 conducts an airstrike on ISIL targets in Iraq, part of the coalition Operation Inherent Resolve effort to counter the terrorist groups activities.
Secretary of Defense Ash Carter offered his congratulations this week and expounded on the significance of the Iraqi government's recent retaking of Ramadi from ISIL.

"I want to congratulate Prime Minister (Haider al) Abadi and the government of Iraq on their progress in retaking Ramadi today," Carter said. "The expulsion of ISIL by Iraqi security forces, supported by our international coalition, is a significant step forward in the campaign to defeat this barbaric group and restore Iraq's territorial sovereignty."

Carter said the success in Ramadi demonstrates the effectiveness of combining local forces with air support and training from the coalition to fight ISIL. However, Carter said  the work is not done in Ramadi.

"Now it's important for the Iraqi government, working with provincial and local authorities, to seize this opportunity to maintain the peace in Ramadi, prevent the return of ISIL and other extremists, and facilitate the return of Ramadi's citizens back to the city," Carter said.

Carter also touched on the future of the conflict against ISIL and the role the U.S. will play in it.

"Even with this success, the fight against ISIL is far from over," Carter said. "The United States military stands ready to support our Iraqi partners and the rest of the international coalition as we build on today's progress and continue to strike ISIL on multiple fronts until we achieve their inevitable defeat."

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