I welcome today’s announcement from Prime Minister Erna Solberg that Norway will expand its role in the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). Norway’s decision to deploy special operations forces to Jordan to train vetted Syrian Arab Sunni fighters and to send a medical team to Northern Iraq bolsters the coalition at a critical moment in the campaign. The added forces are a welcome contribution from a stalwart ally, and another sign of the growing momentum in the campaign to defeat ISIL. With today’s announcement, Norway joins a long a list of countries that have provided additional contributions in key areas of need in the counter-ISIL fight, and I want to personally thank Minister of Defense Ine Eriksen Søreide for her leadership in securing these contributions.
I have invited Minister Søreide to this Wednesday’s meeting in Stuttgart with my counterparts from countries leading the coalition’s military effort against ISIL. We will use this meeting to assess the state of the campaign, discuss the next steps in the fight and determine what additional capabilities we will need to accelerate ISIL’s defeat. Our campaign is gathering momentum, but there is more work to do and more resources needed to finish the job including in the areas of economic and political support. I look forward to other nations following Norway’s example.
Release No: NR-158-16
May 2, 2016