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Centcom Spokesman

Centcom Spokesman: Successes Against Terrorists Result From Partnerships

By Terri Moon Cronk, DoD News, Defense Media Activity.
Washington D.C. — (DoD News) — May 10, 2016 — Today’s hostage rescue by U.S. and Afghan special operations forces and recent airstrikes that have killed terrorist operatives highlight the cooperation and partnership U.S. Central Command has with its regional partners for security and stability, a Centcom spokesman said today.

Speaking by teleconference to Pentagon reporters, Air Force Col. Pat Ryder emphasized how the strong relationship and bolstered interoperability between the United States and its regional allies are the result of many years of working together on the battlefield and through robust bilateral and multilateral exercises.

An Afghan air force A-29 Super Tucano aircraft flies over Afghanistan during a training mission, April 6, 2016. NATO’s Train, Advise, Assist Command Air works daily to assist the Afghan air force in improving its capabilities. U.S. Central Command spokesman Air Force Col. Pat Ryder credited recent successes against terrorists to strong relationships and bolstered interoperability between the United States and its allied and regional partners.

“We continue to work hard to strengthen those relationships and partnerships as we work together to address common challenges such as defeating terrorist groups [including] the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant and al-Qaida,” he added

Two recent successful operations highlight how the allies work together toward a common goal.

U.S., Afghan Forces Rescue Hostage

Ali Haider Gilani, son of former Pakistani Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani, was rescued today by U.S. special operations personnel and Afghan commandos in a partnered raid conducted in the Giyan district of Afghanistan’s Paktika province. He had been held hostage for three years.

Four al-Qaida operatives were killed in the raid, Ryder said, adding that under Operation Freedom’s Sentinel authority, the counterterrorism mission was planned and launched after terrorist activity there was confirmed.

“The U.S. partnership with the government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan is highly effective and critical to the fight against terrorism and ensuring peace and stability in the region,” he said. “This rescue is very good news, and we commend the U. S. and Afghan forces [that] conducted this mission.”

Airstrikes in Yemen Kill Terrorist Operatives

The U.S. military conducted four counterterrorism airstrikes May 6 against al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula, a terrorist organization in Yemen, which killed 10 al-Qaida operatives and injured one, Ryder said, adding that the Defense Department last week announced Centcom also has provided limited support to the Arab coalition and Yemeni operations in and around the port city of Mukalla.

“While the U.S. airstrikes were not directly linked to or in support of the Arab coalition operations in Yemen, it’s important to note the common purpose,” Ryder said.

That purpose relates to al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula remaining a significant threat to the region, the United States and beyond, Ryder said. “Al-Qaida’s presence has had a destabilizing effect on Yemen and the terror group has exploited the unrest there to provide a haven from which to plan future attacks,” he added.

In concert with U.S. regional partners, “we remain committed to defeating [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula], denying it safe haven regardless of its location, and the strikes conducted by the [United States] in Yemen are intended to diminish [al-Qaida in the Arabian Peninsula’s] presence in the region,” Ryder said.
(Follow Terri Moon Cronk on Twitter: @MoonCronkDoD)

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Directeur de la publication : Joël-François Dumont
Comité de rédaction : Jacques de Lestapis, Hugues Dumont, François de Vries (Bruxelles), Hans-Ulrich Helfer (Suisse), Michael Hellerforth (Allemagne).
Comité militaire : VAE Guy Labouérie (†), GAA François Mermet (2S), CF Patrice Théry (Asie).