US, Iraq Hold High-Level Talks To Strengthen Security Relationship In Light Of ISIS Threat
US Personnel injured in attacks since October 18th: 1 serious, 70 lightly, mostly from "concussive events" from rocket, mortar, indirect fire, one-way UAS attacks with between 8 to 50 kg of explosives
PENTAGON - Today’s focus of the Department of Defense has been high-level talks regarding the “evolution” of the long-term relationship between the United States and Iraq due to the change in the threat of the ISIS terrorist organization over the last ten years.
According to a senior military official, the number of US personnel injured in attacks since October 18th included 1 serious injury, and 70 injured lightly, mostly from "concussive events" from rocket, mortar, indirect fire, one-way UAS attacks with between 8 to 50 kg of explosives.
The official said, “At its height, ISIS controlled more than 100,000 square kilometers of territory containing more than 11 million people. ISIS attracted tens of thousands of foreign fighters from multiple nations to Iraq and Syria. It used its territory as a safe haven to plot and stage attacks across the region and the globe.”
“Faced with this threat to our mutual security and shared values, together, the United States, with its allies and partners, formed Combined Joint Task Force-Operation Inherent Resolve, CJTF-OIR, and over the past decade, CJTF-OIR has removed ISIS from the territory it once controlled,” the official added.
“The partnership between CJTF and OIR and the government of Iraq has been a decisive factor in the defeat of ISIS, and the Iraqi Security Forces, the ISF, have been in the lead during the last several years of the campaign to defeat ISIS with CJTF-OIR in support to advise, assist, and enable our partner forces. The ISF have made tremendous progress through cooperation with CJTF-OIR.”
The official then said, “10 years after the Iraqi government invited the United States and the rest of the coalition to fight ISIS and seven years after our collective territorial defeat of ISIS in Iraq, we see a need to transition to a normal bilateral security cooperation relationship.”
The Pentagon added, however, that although the security relationship between the United States and Iraq may change, the withdrawal of U.S. forces from Iraq is not on the table.