IRBIL, Iraq, October 20, 2015 —
The chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff arrived here today from Jordan seeking the ground truth of the campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant.
Marine Corps Gen. Joseph F. Dunford Jr. told reporters traveling with him that he is going to Irbil to receive a campaign update. He will meet with U.S. and Kurdish officials during the visit.
Dunford is scheduled to meet with President of the Iraqi Kurdistan Region Masoud Barzani.
The chairman has been in office for two weeks, and he said this is one of the first things he wanted to do in his new position. He said he hopes to get his “eyes on the ground, talk about the capabilities of Iraqi forces.”
Discussions With U.S., Iraqi Leaders
Dunford will speak to Iraqi and U.S. leaders about ongoing operations to protect the Beiji oil complex and retake Ramadi.
The general said he also wants “to get a sense for where we are in training." He added, “Clearly, I want to get a sense of where [Army Lt. Gen. Sean] McFarland thinks we need support.”
Dunford said he’ll also discuss the campaign in Iraq, as well as Syria.
“The dynamic is across Iraq and Syria, so we’re going to talk about the campaign more broadly,” he said. “From a U.S. perspective, with General McFarland, we’ll talk about how our activities in Iraq and Syria are coordinated.”
(Follow Jim Garamone on Twitter: @garamoneDoDNews)