Washington: In the aftermath of the terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter Wednesday said America has intensified its actions against ISIS which is destined to receive a lasting defeat.
"The attacks in Paris and San Bernardino were an assault on the civilization we defend. ISIL requires, and it will receive, a lasting defeat. The President had directed us to intensify and adapt the military campaign before the Paris attacks," Carter told members of Senate Armed Services Committee during a Congressional hearing on Counter-ISIL.
"The necessity of accelerating our efforts, as we are doing, has only been made more plain by the recent attacks. We are urging others in the region and around the world to do the same because those attacks further highlighted the stakes that not just the US but the world has in this fight," he said.
Noting that the defence of the homeland must be strengthened, Carter said to be sure, but it is absolutely necessary to defeat ISIS in its parent tumor in Syria and Iraq and also to take necessary action wherever else in the world this evil organization metastasizes.
"Achieving these objectives means leveraging all the components of our nation's might ? diplomatic, military, law enforcement, homeland security, intelligence, economic, informational.
"Through our and our coalition partners' actions, the military campaign must and will deny ISIL any safe territorial haven, kill or capture its leadership and forces, and destroy its organization ? all while we seek to identify and then enable capable, motivated local forces on the ground who can expel ISIL from the territory it now controls, hold and govern it, and ensure that victory sticks," he said.
Carter said militarily, the US is taking new steps each week to gather momentum on the battlefield in Syria and Iraq.
"The reality is, we are at war. That's how our troops feel about it, because they're taking the fight to ISIL every day ? applying the might of the finest fighting force the world has ever known," he said.
After a frustratingly long time, Carter said there is some movement in the operation to recapture Ramadi. In fact, in the last 24 hours, the Iraqi security forces (ISF) retook the Anbar Operations Center on the northern bank of the Euphrates River across from Ramadi's city center. This is an important step but there is still tough fighting ahead.
"ISIL has counter-attacked several times, but thus far the ISF has shown resilience. The US is prepared to assist the Iraqi Army with additional unique capabilities to help them finish the job, including attack helicopters and accompanying advisors, if requested by Prime Minister (Haider al) Abadi," the Defense Secretary said.