WASHINGTON, Dec. 15, 2015 —
More nations must
“get in the game militarily” to hasten destruction of the Islamic State of Iraq
and the Levant, Defense Secretary Ash Carter told reporters on Incirlik Air
Base, Turkey, today.
secretary also said he was grateful to Germany, Spain, Qatar, and host nation
Turkey for their recently added armed forces to the campaign.
Turks, in addition to hosting us here, are taking some action along their
border and in internal security,” Carter said. "We welcome the additional
steps the Turks have taken recently … and we're asking them to take more, to do
more, even as we're asking ourselves to do more."
secretary echoed President Barack Obama’s message from the Pentagon yesterday
to intensify and accelerate ISIL’s defeat, adding that the terror group must be
fought not only in Iraq and Syria, but also around the globe.
enforcement agencies, the Homeland Security Department and various U.S.
government entities are involved in what Carter called “the inevitable defeat
of this threat to civilization.”
Russia Must Contribute
while help from other nations, combined with more assistance from the U.S.-led coalition
is being brought against ISIL, the secretary said Russia is one country that is
“not yet working in the right direction.”
got off on the wrong foot,” Carter added. “Instead of combating ISIL, [Russia]
was combating the opposition, which needs to be part of the Syrian political
future after a political transition.”
Russians must contribute to the transition and not impede it, he said, adding
Russia should join the fight against ISIL.
they're off on the wrong foot, we can't associate ourselves with Russian
strategy until it changes,” Carter said.
Secretary of State John Kerry in Moscow today in meetings to try to get the
Russians “from where they've started in this campaign to a place where they can
make a more positive contribution,” Carter said it’s also important for Russia
to not get in the way of coalition operations.
is why we negotiated a memorandum of understanding [to] … have professionalism
in the air,” Carter said.
is why we're concerned about [Russians] supplying the Syrian regime with
equipment it doesn't need,” while not joining the fight to destroy ISIL, he
Islamic Alliance Against Terror
not going to have any impediments to the conduct of our campaign against ISIL,
secretary said today’s announcement by Saudi Arabia to form a 34-state Islamic
alliance against terrorism “appears [to be] very much aligned with something
that we have been urging for quite some time, which is greater involvement in
the campaign to combat ISIL by Sunni-Arab countries.”
Saudi-led coalition in the region would have the ability “to promote what we
know is necessary in the long run for the defeat of ISIL in Iraq and in Syria,”
Carter said, “which is the replacement of their tyrannical rule with local rule
that gives a decent life back to people.”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)