US: We’ll ‘Continue to Work Closely’ with Iraq Forces, Peshmerga to Ensure ‘Enduring Defeat of ISIS’

"The Iraqi Security forces, to include Peshmerga, have had significant impact on ISIS’s ability to conduct the kind of terror operations that we saw a decade ago."
Pentagon building (Photo: Pentagon)
Pentagon building (Photo: Pentagon)

WASHINGTON DC, United States (Kurdistan 24) – Pentagon Press Secretary Maj. Gen. Patrick Ryder affirmed in a press briefing on Tuesday America’s ongoing determination to ensure that ISIS remains defeated and that it cannot reconstitute itself.

Responding to a question from Kurdistan 24, Ryder said, “We’re going to continue to work closely with the Iraqi government and other partners in the region, to include the Peshmerga,” in order to “ensure that [ISIS] can’t resurge in the way that we had seen it do earlier and make sure at the same time that our partners have the capabilities that they need to be able to ensure that ISIS doesn’t come back—the enduring defeat of ISIS.”

Ryder expressed appreciation for the role those partners have played in the fight against ISIS. “The Iraqi Security forces, to include Peshmerga, have had significant impact on ISIS’s ability to conduct the kind of terror operations” that they carried out “a decade ago,” he said.

“That’s a real testament to the capabilities and effectiveness of these forces working together in the region,” he added.

Ryder has long affirmed both the value of the Peshmerga’s contribution to the fight against ISIS and the continued U.S. commitment to ensuring the defeat of the terrorist group.

Last March, as Masrour Barzani, Prime Minister of the Kurdistan Regional Government, visited Washington, Ryder told Kurdistan 24, “I just want to emphasize how much we appreciate the support of the Peshmerga forces and the long-standing strategic relationship that we have with the Kurdistan Regional Government.”

Read More: Pentagon Spox: U.S. has ‘Long-standing Strategic Relationship’ with the KRG

Later, in a press briefing in mid-May, Ryder affirmed Washington’s undiminished commitment to fighting ISIS.

“We continue to work closely with the international community to address the ISIS threat,” Ryder said. In Iraq and Syria, “ISIS is by no means what it was ten years ago,” but “we need to continue to work together to prevent a resurgence of ISIS in that region.” 

Read More: Pentagon: US Committed to Continued Fight against ISIS

When Ryder speaks publicly, he expresses the formal position of the U.S. government, of course. But he also has a long experience with Iraq and the Kurds, which seems to inform his views.

His first deployment to the area was to Erbil–in 1995, shortly after he had been commissioned as a young Air Force officer, to escort a convoy, as he told Kurdistan 24. 

Eight years later, when the U.S. ousted Saddam Hussein and his regime in Operation Iraqi Freedom, Ryder returned to Iraq. In 2004, he served as a strategic communications planner for the Coalition Provisional Authority in Baghdad.

And ten years after that, from 2014 to 2016, Ryder “oversaw the [CENTCOM] command-wide public affairs operations in support of the counter-ISIS campaign, Operation Inherent Resolve,” his official biography explains.