Carter, French Counterpart
Discuss Countering ISIL
By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News,
Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. — (DoD
News) — November 24, 2015 — Defense Secretary Ash Carter began his meeting
at the Pentagon today with the French defense minister by expressing his
condolences over the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant’s “horrific” Nov. 13
attacks on Paris, and he reiterated the U.S. commitment to strengthen shared
efforts against the terrorists, Pentagon Press Secretary Peter Cook told
Cook said Carter and French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian spoke within
hours of the attacks and have been in frequent contact ever since ISIL’s attacks
in Paris killed 130 people from 20 nations and wounded more than 350 others.
Ash Carter hosts an honor cordon welcoming French
Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian to the Pentagon
While the two defense leaders primarily focused their Pentagon meeting on
counter-ISIL efforts today, Cook said, their conversations since the attacks
already have resulted in several concrete steps.
Nations Share ISIL Information
“France and the United States are now sharing information and details about
operational planning against ISIL to the fullest extent allowed by law,” the
press secretary said. “Our nations are also contributing to a thickening of the
coalition air campaign with sorties now originating from the French carrier the
Charles de Gaulle.”
And France was the first to join the United States in strikes against ISIL in
Iraq, Cook said.
Expanding U.S., French Cooperation
The two countries now are looking at ways to further expand their cooperation,
he said, adding that “France sand the United States share security in other
parts of the world.”
“They have shown strong commitment to each facet of the campaign ever since,”
Cook said of the French military. “The French are helping to build the capacity
of local fighters, training Iraqi peshmerga forces, and have been at the
forefront of efforts to stem the flow of financial support and foreign fighters
to ISIL,” he said.
In Africa, the United States has supported the French mission to prevent the
spillover effects of terrorism and extremism through a “unique lift in aerial
refueling capability,” Cook noted.
“In Europe, France has joined the United States by providing our partners
reassurance response to Russian aggression,” he said. The French also have
volunteered to lead NATO's Very High Readiness Joint Task Force at a future
date, he added.
The defense leaders earlier today met at the White House with President
Barack Obama and French President Francois Hollande, who also discussed
countering ISIL efforts between the two nations.
“Echoing the president's words today,” Cook said, “Secretary
Carter thanked France for serving as an anchor for security on several
continents and for standing as a steadfast ally.”
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)
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