FULL REMARKS: U.S. Secretary of Defense Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Mark A. Milley clarify Iran, Iraq situation

Full remarks from press briefing on middle east crisis held on January 6, 2020 by U.S. Secretary Of Defense Dr. Mark T. Esper and Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Mark A. Milley

SECRETARY OF DEFENSE MARK T. ESPER: OK. Good afternoon everyone. How are you. I know we don’t have too much time because I have a couple phone calls to go do.

A few things up front. So first of all, we continue to deploy forces and reposition forces throughout the region to bolster our security, our force protection, and also to be prepared for any contingency.

That’s number one. Number two, over the last several days I’ve had conversations with many, many of our allies and partners about the situation in – in Iraq and the region. I got to tell you it’s been uniform support for our position and for our actions.

And I continue to convey to them the importance we place on continuing, A, the defeat ISIS mission for those who are ere involved in that – that operation. Two, for our commitment to partnering with Iraq going forward. And number three, to the mission that we’ve always said about deterring Iranian bad behavior and standing up to this malign behavior that has been ever present now for 40-plus years.

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