SOUTHWEST ASIA – The High Level Committee of the Iraqi Ministry of Defense and the Combined Joint Task Force – Operation Inherent Resolve met today in Baghdad to discuss the way forward for the Coalition's continued support of the Iraqi Security Forces.
High Level Committee Chairman Staff Lt. Gen. Wa'ad Zainl Saleh, Senior Secretary to the Iraqi Chief of Defense, and Maj. Gen. Felix Gedney, CJTF-OIR Deputy Commander for Strategy and Support, led the discussions. The meeting prepared for the future transition of the defeat-Daesh campaign, from the liberation of Iraq, to a consolidation of the hard fought gains.
The group discussed the sacrifices of many Iraqis from all parts of the Iraqi Security Forces who have been lost in battle during the campaign to liberate Daesh-controlled areas of Iraq. They also recognized the heavy toll that the people of Iraq have paid due to ISIS’ campaign of terror.
Together with the CJTF-OIR Director of Training and Equipping, Brig. Gen. Steven Whelan, Maj. Gen. Gedney emphasized the Coalition's commitment to work hand-in-hand with the Iraqi Government into the future.
"During the past three years, the Coalition of 70 nations and four partner organizations has been committed to building the ISF's capabilities to achieve the military defeat of Daesh's so-called caliphate, liberating more than 4.5 million Iraqis and over 52,200 square kilometers of territory," Maj. Gen.
Gedney said. "In the process, the Coalition has trained more than 123,000 members of the ISF, including in excess of 25,000 police officers."
CJTF-OIR was established in 2014 in order to stop the emergence of Daesh's barbaric form of terror in Iraq, Syria and beyond, and to prevent their terrorist ideology from taking root.
"We will continue to support our Iraqi partners in the battle against ISIS with training, equipment, advice and assistance. The next phase will focus on the provision of lasting security, while developing Iraqi sustainability and self-sufficiency," Maj. Gen. Gedney said.