Iraq leadership confers with U.S., NATO commanders

By JC Finley  |  Nov. 26, 2014 at 9:23 AM
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BRUSSELS, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- Senior Iraqi officials met earlier this week with U.S. Central Command and NATO leadership regarding Iraq's military efforts to combat the Islamic State, also referred to as ISIL or Daesh.

On Monday, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi met in Baghdad with CENTCOM Commander Gen. Lloyd Austin.

During their meeting, Abadi informed Austin "We are moving ahead with confidence to regain every inch of the land of Iraq and will expel Daesh terrorist gangs," and said the government is also "working on post-liberation plans."

According to the prime minister's office, Austin commended Iraqi forces for "liberating cities and holding ground." The general reiterated America's support for Iraq, including training, equipping and advising the Iraqi army.

Iraq's National Security Adviser Falih al-Fayyadh traveled to Brussels for a meeting of the North Atlantic Council on Tuesday, where he briefed NATO Permanent Representatives on the security situation in Iraq and the surrounding region.

NATO ambassadors also discussed enhancing NATO-Iraq cooperation, although NATO did not elaborate on what that might entail.

The consultations follow a U.S.-led coalition conference in Tampa, Fla. where more than 200 participants worked to refine a multinational strategy to counter IS in both Iraq and Syria. According to CENTCOM, "A major focus of the 10-day conference was the further development of Coalition plans to help train, advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces so that Iraq is better able to regenerate its combat power, counter ISIL and ultimately provide for its own security."

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