Carter pleased with coalition allies' vow to step up efforts against ISIL

Ash Carter
Ash Carter | Contributed photo

Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said this week that Defense Secretary Ash Carter was pleased that other coalition nations recently agreed to ramp up their efforts to defeat ISIL.

Anti-ISIL coalition members met in Brussels last week for their first-ever meeting, and Cook said the additional resources promised by the other countries will greatly aid the cause.

For example, Cook said Saudi Arabia resumed airstrikes resumed airstrikes against ISIL targets "in the last few days."

Cook said the Saudis will discuss their role in accelerating attacks on ISIL soon with other coalition partners.

Cook also said Carter met with NATO's defense ministers last week, who remain committed to the campaign against ISIL.

While Saudi Arabia and NATO have shown where their alliances lie, Cook said the U.S. is still looking for evidence of Russia's intentions. Russia has vowed to fight ISIL, but its military efforts seem more focused on supporting Syrian President Bashar Assad.

"They have said their fight is with ISIL,” Cook said. “We'd like to see them change course, direction and refocus their efforts.”

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