News   Lethality

Votel Reports on U.S. Central Command Hotspots

Oct. 5, 2018

We continue to advocate for greater global burden sharing as part of our ongoing defeat-ISIS military operations, stabilization and humanitarian assistance. - Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander, U.S. Central Command


Gen. Joseph Votel,  the commander of U.S. Central Command, visits the Bright Star 2018 Logistics Staging Area
Votel Visit
Gen. Joseph Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, visits the Bright Star 2018 Logistics Staging Area. Air Force photo by SrA Amanda Stanford)
Photo By: Senior Airman Amanda Manteufel
VIRIN: 180909-F-GK873-003B

Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, the commander of U.S. Central Command, spoke about the range of operations in Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Yemen and Iran during a Pentagon news conference, Oct. 4. During the Q&A telephone conference, Votel reported on his recent 19-day trip through the area of operations.

Key Points

1
The fight in Afghanistan is tough, and Afghan security forces are suffering higher casualties than they did last year. President Donald J. Trump’s South Asia Strategy is sound, and the Resolute Support mission commander, Army Gen. Scott Miller, is assessing conditions and making tactical improvements he deems necessary.
Soldiers patrol the desert after leaving a Black Hawk helicopter.
Foot Patrol
Soldiers set off for a foot patrol after disembarking from a UH-60 Black Hawk helicopter in Afghanistan, Sept. 4, 2018.
Photo By: Spc. Markus Bowling
VIRIN: 180904-A-ST516-403E
2
In Iraq, national security forces operate independently and are conducting offensive operations against the remnants of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria. In Syria, local forces continue to make steady progress in liberating the final remnants of ISIS' physical caliphate.
3
In both Syria and Iraq, the United States continues to advocate for greater global burden sharing as part of the ongoing defeat-ISIS military operations and stabilization and humanitarian assistance efforts.
4
Both continue to “exacerbate” the seven-year civil war in Syria. Without these two countries, Syrian leader Bashar Assad would have long been deposed. Votel called Iran “the world's leading sponsor of terror.”
5
As a result of the National Defense Strategy, DOD has moved some capabilities out of U.S. Central Command. However, the area remains key to many vital national interests, and Centcom will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with its partners there.

"We remain committed to methodically and unrelentingly rooting out and eliminating ISIS-K fighters. We continue to work with the Afghan national defense and security forces to develop the capabilities needed to seize and retain the initiative against the Taliban, and to effectively counter ISIS-Khorasan. While this has been a difficult and bloody summer, especially the last several weeks, we are seeing some improvements."

- Army Gen. Joseph L. Votel, commander, U.S. Central Command