U.S. Secretary for Defense Mark Esper speaks during a press conference on the first day of the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Jens Meyer)b
UPDATED 1:55 PM PT — Friday, February 14, 2020
Defense Secretary Mark Esper met with global officials in Germany this week to discuss progress in the fight against ISIS. During Friday’s press briefing in Munich, Esper said the U.S. is determined to defeat the terror group.
“We stand united with our partners and allies in the D-ISIS coalition,” he said. “Today in Munich, I reaffirmed our unwavering commitment to advancing global peace and security, and to the lasting defeat of ISIS.”
He also discussed the importance of the commitment made by 82 countries, who have joined the coalition in pursuit of taking down the caliphate.
The secretary emphasized that even though ISIS has been weakened, now is not the right time to let up.
“Looking ahead, it is imperative that we maintain unrelenting pressure on ISIS in Iraq and Syria, just as we help prepare the Iraqis to do so for the long term,” stated Esper. “Together we have achieved tremendous success against ISIS, destroying its physical caliphate and liberating millions from its barbaric rule.”
Esper’s comments came as global leaders met at the Munich Security Conference, where they are discussing containment of the coronavirus and tensions in the Middle East.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, center, shakes hands with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani, right, as US Secretary of Defense Mark Esper watches during the 56th Munich Security Conference (MSC) in Munich, southern Germany, on Friday, Feb. 14, 2020. The 2020 edition of the Munich Security Conference (MSC) takes place from Feb. 14 to 16. (Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/Pool photo via AP)