Department of Defense
November 7th, 2017
BRIGADIER GENERAL ANDREW A. CROFT: Okay. Thank you. A quick opening statement, if you will. Department of Defense November 7th, 2017
Good morning, everyone. I’m Brigadier General Andrew Croft, the deputy commanding general for air, Combined Joint Forces Land Component Command-Operation Inherent Resolve. I’m speaking to you from Erbil, Iraq, where I’m temporarily commanding operations.
Let me start by congratulating the Iraqi Security Forces on their recent successes as they drive ISIS out of Iraq. On Sunday, the prime minister raised the Iraqi flag on the border at Al-Qa’im, another milestone in the defeat of ISIS as a physical caliphate.
Over the past few months, we have seen the Iraqi security forces increasing in confidence and ability as they have taken the fight to ISIS and allowed the Iraqi people to regain control of their own towns and cities.
The global coalition has stood fully behind its fight, and we are proud of our role in the defeat of this barbaric enemy and its false narrative. We will continue our efforts until the threat is completely destroyed and no longer able to terrorize the people of Iraq.
Here in Erbil, we are investing in the future by continuing our training mission to ensure that all Iraqis can be responsible for their own security.
We have a longstanding relationship with the Peshmerga and the Iraqi security forces, both of whom have fought in the recent offenses against ISIS. We support and assist in facilitating the continued negotiations between both parties as they seek to forge a new relationship in the post-ISIS era.
In my area of expertise, as a deputy commanding general for air, I am the primary coordinator of the coalition air campaign in Iraq. As Iraqi security forces have fought a hard ground battle, I have been impressed by the capability and effectiveness of the Iraqi air force and army aviation command throughout the campaign. Not only are we seeing the bravery of the pilots, but we are witnessing the air force come to maturity.
The coalition’s part in this is to provide surveillance, reconnaissance, precision air support and ground artillery, enabling the Iraqi security forces’ advance while taking great care to minimize civilian casualties in the process.
As the Iraqi Security Forces are pushing through the last areas of Anbar Province, the coalition continues to assist the ground maneuver with intelligence-led precision strikes and close air support. In addition, we are providing technical and logistical support to the battle.
Our job here is not finished. We as a coalition will continue to hunt ISIS and disrupt and destroy their operations. Iraq will be liberated and secured by Iraqis, with the help of our united coalition.