Defense Secretary Ash Carter, while recognizing the progress being made in the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), is pushing to accelerate the coalition’s efforts and hasten the terrorist organization’s defeat, the Pentagon said recently.
“The secretary has not been satisfied with the pace, which is why he's always talking about accelerating (it),” Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook said. “He is satisfied we are making progress in Iraq and Syria, but the secretary's view is the sooner this threat is defeated, the better.”
The Combined Joint Task Force Operation Inherent Resolve commander, U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Sean MacFarland, has been coordinating the coalition's efforts from Baghdad, where MacFarland advises Iraqi officials.
“We've seen (significant) developments on the ground in Iraq and Syria, but this is a fight that requires careful coordination,” Cook said. “…We continue to provide support, airstrikes being the most obvious example of support for the fight in Fallujah.”
Coalition forces currently are working to liberate Fallujah and its residents, and Cook said the Department of Defense (DoD) is satisfied with the Iraqi government's overall campaign against ISIL.
“(The DOD looks at) every single thing that can be done to accelerate this fight and to further put pressure on ISIL, and we'll continue to do that,” Cook said.