Today’s vote by the United Kingdom to participate in strikes on ISIL targets in Syria is further evidence of the strength of our coalition, and the enduring importance of the special relationship between the United States and the United Kingdom. The United Kingdom has been a strong member of the Counter-ISIL coalition since it began in September 2014, making significant contributions to air operations, including through airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq and intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance missions in both Iraq and Syria. They have also supported the coalition partners on the ground through the advise and assist mission in Iraq and the Syria train and equip program. I commend Prime Minister David Cameron and Secretary of State for Defense Michael Fallon for the leadership they have shown in the fight against ISIL, as well as the commitment they have shown to our common defense by deciding that the United Kingdom will continue to meet the pledge that all NATO allies made in Wales to invest at least two percent of GDP in defense.
I also want to commend Germany for moving towards expanding its contributions to the Counter-ISIL effort, including a commitment of up to 1,200 troops as well as additional support for the air campaign, and I look forward to Friday’s vote in parliament regarding this contribution. These actions are further proof of the shared commitment among our nations to defeat and destroy ISIL.
Release No: NR-457-15
December 2, 2015