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tv   Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Milley Defense Secretary Esper Hold Pentagon...  CSPAN  October 28, 2019 1:08pm-1:26pm EDT

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from 2016 continuing the kurdish in syria became his number one priority and probably division into the back and in fact, erdogan weakened theopposition . for instance, the turkish actions in aleppo played a role in thefall of aleppo . fighting aleppo in their fight against the kurds and turkey worked closely with iran and the assad regime which ended up on the ground. and we have recently seen another change with local elections that don't huge blow to erdogan. in march 2019 elections the ruling party was almostall major cities . and.
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>> were going to leave this discussion to take youlive to the pentagon for a briefing . >> good afternoon everyone. as president trump announced yesterday, the united states joint special operations forces conducted a successful raid on saturday night assaulting resulting in the death of abu bakr al-baghdadi , the founder and leader of isis. this operation was the culmination of a multi-year interagency effort to find him and capture or kill him. baghdadi was responsible for the most brutal atrocities of our time and his death marks a blow for isis who are now deprived of their inspirational leader following the destruction of their physical caliphate earlier this year . i want to thank our brave servicemembers who took part in this daring raid along with our interagency partners who support the mission .
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there is no guarantee of success in an operation with this level of difficulty. president trump new this when he made the bold decision to order the raid confident in the expertise of our forces. our servicemembers conducted themselves with incredible skill and professionalism and executed the raid in all of its facets brilliantly. not a single united states servicemember was killed in this high-risk operation. despite baghdadi's death, the situation in syria remains complex. multiple state and nonstate actors continue to vie for control of territory and resources within the country . as we have learned from our recent history in the middle east it is easy to get drawn into continued conflict if our objectives are not clear. acting as a police force to solve every dispute is notour mission. our mission in syria remains the same as it was when we first began operations in 2014 . the enduring defeat of isis. our recent repositioning of forces within the country is intended to foster us to
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continue this mission and give the president options while returning the balance back home to the united states. those who remain will continue to execute counterterrorism operations while staying in close contact with the syrian democratic forces who fought alongside us area additionally the united states will retain control of oil fields in northeast syria. at the height of baghdadi's reign these fields provided the bulk of resources used to fund its terror. us troops will remain positioned in this area to deny isis access to those vital resources. and we will respond with overwhelming military force against any group that threatens the safety of our forces there. theseoilfields provide a critical source of funding for the stf which enables their ability to secure isis prison camps and conduct operations against isis among other things .
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last week i was in brussels or the nato defense ministerial x and i spoke with our allies about the situation in syria area i reiterated our commitments to the defeat of isis and called on other nations for their support to help mitigate the ongoing security crisis. turkey continues to bear responsibility for the consequences of their unwarranted incursion which is has brought further instability to the region. a number of allies and expressed their desire to help with the implementation of the saison along the syria turkey border. the united states remains focused on our core mission and continues to work closely with the defeat isis coalition as we implement the next phase of the campaign baghdadi's death will not read the world of terrorism or end the ongoing conflict . it will certainly send a message to those who question america's resolve and provide a warning to terrorists who think they can hide. the united states more than any other nation in the world . possesses the power and the will to hunt to the ends of the earth those who wish to bring harm upon the american
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people. saturday's operation was one example of the incredible determination and great skill of the united states military . i'll now ask general millie to bring you additional details. >> good afternoon and secretary stated, the united states special operations forces under the command and control of the central command general frank mckenzie conducted a counterterrorism opposition which resulted in the death of the founder and leader of isis , ... intelligence from numerous organizations of defense and across the entire interagency identify the target location at approximately four miles on the turkish border and in a province of syria. inorder to reduce the risk , us forces and prevent miscalculation, and escalation, and action consistent with operations in the past we coordinated appropriate military and other organizations in the region to establish the
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confliction mechanisms. during the mission us forces were infiltrated by helicopter and once on the objective secure the target compound. we saw horses engage with small arms fire and the threats were quickly eliminated . our forces isolated the compound and protected all the noncombatants. while clearing the objective us forces is covered baghdadi hiding in the tunnel. the assault force ended when he detonated a suicide that you baghdadi's remains were transported to a secure facility to confirm his identity with forensic dna tests and disposal of his remains as been done and is complete and was handled appropriately. the success of this operation is an incredible testament to the professionalism of the men and women of the joint force and partners and the courage and their bravery. they put themselves in harm's way time and again to protect our great countrythe secretary and i will now take your questions . >> you mentioned the
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oilfields and securing oilfields in the east of syria. since the deployment or reinforcement that you announced last week has begun and could you describe more fully what that was intended to do -mark. >> we have begun to reposition additional assets into the ascendancy. as i said the other day it includes organized forces. that will continue until we have sufficient capability to ensure isis and other destabilizing actors are denied access to that oil facility. >> have you had any indications about any of the challenges to your presidents there -mark . >> not at this time. >> you have video of baghdadi's final moments and are you partnering with the kurds on the ground, can you explain how difficult this operation would have been if we didn't have troops or bases on theground in syria and in iraq .>> we do have
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video, photos. they're going through a declassification process. what you'll see in the coming days will set up operation and tactical by central command and you will be provided video at the center of it. >> would you be able to carry out this operation if you didn't have troops on the ground ? >> we can target anywhere anytime. >> i was going to say the same thing, we haveincredible reach, we can strike anybody anytime anywhere . terrorists should be aware of that, they have seen that multiple times and with regard to your question, we have been in continuous contact . >>. [inaudible] what kind of ordinance was used to destroy the compound? do you have video from inside the tunnel itself and if so were you able to get that
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because the k-9 was wearing video or do you havesomething else ? >> how about one of the half. >> the name of the k-9please . >> that was mine. >> ordinance issued, there's multiple types of ordinance used to include the tvu health wires as well as miniguns. small arms fire, etc. so we used a variety of munitions. the bombs were used at the tail end to destroy the compound . your second question about the video, i'm not going to classify the video what we do have and don't have. i've seen a lot and i'll wait until everything is appropriately declassified in the coming days . we're not releasing the name of the dog right now. the dog is still in the inner. the military working dog performed a tremendous service as we all do in a
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variety of situations area was slightly wounded and fully recovering but the dog is still in theater, returned to duty area were not going to release just yet photos or names of dogs . we're protecting the dogs identity . >> that's for questions now. >> baghdadi, his remains are disclosed appropriately. >> baghdadi's headquarters, his compound, or was he just passingthrough ? and how much material did you take away? >> there was material taken away, i don't want to characterize yet until it gets exploited properly but as a matter of course we always do sensitive site exploitation. as whether it is headquarters , it was an area in which he was staying.
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>>. >> he took some, how many and whose custody area. >> there in our custody at a secure facility area. >> can you tell us how many? >> there were two adult males taken the objectives alive. >> thank you for your time today. i want to look at the what's next section, the president alluded to security being eclectic on the site itself. can you in any way elaborate on what has been collected, was beinglooked through now and what that might mean . >> that information hasn't been exploitedproperly . >> i think the one next to us, they began the mission and the mission is to your threat of isis in the region. >> we've seen reporting that this was launched from
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outside, can you clarify where it came from mark. >> i'm not quick todiscuss the location . it took place obviously. >>. >> can i take you back to the question on the oil spill on the military's role in the oil spill position if i may. so you're going to protect them again and keep control against isis and other essential, potential tributaries. does it include the possibility in your view that us troops are prepared to deny access oilfields to either the russian and or syrian forces? is he in fact part of your mission to specifically deny them access and by my follow-up to that is how do you know when, what do you need to seek to know your done with the oilfields mission, presumably you're not keeping troops there
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absolutely forever . how do you know when you're done? what you need to do area russia and syria please area. >> the question are asking is about the ways the military questions. i'm going to turn it over to the secretary specifically for that but a military task that we've been given is to secure, continue to secure camps, you know where that is. will continue to do that and to secure the possibility in and around out some. that is in the facility, and the fundamental purpose of securing the oilfields is to deny those oilfields access to isis in order to prevent isis resurgence. because they are still committed to the cause, we don't want them to research area but i'll let the secretary take questions. >> the question is what you want to do in the oilfields.
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that included denying access to dissenting russian or syrian forces which now have changed the battlefield. >> the short answer is yes, it presently does because in that case we want to make sure spf does have resources and in order to bar the prisons, in order to our own troops, in order to assist us with the defeat isis mission. sothat our mission is to secure the oilfields . >>. >> general millie, president trump decided yesterday baghdadi whimpering and crying before he died area and can you elaborate? >> the secretary was asked the same question yesterday. i know the president and plan to talk about it. but i don't know what source it was. >>. >> i have not talked yet.
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i talked to the commanders. . but i'm not at that level. >> thank you for doing this visit . the theater has said there was an spf member was part of this raid. he thought about the intelligence the sd provided, putting a person inside isis. can you confirm all those on your end and also on the oilfield, can you just talk about the overall picture in syria now after the last four weeks, putting more people into these oilfields are you going to be more troops in syria and there were before the. >> i'll take the second question for and i'll let the chairman asked the first area as i said, we're reinforcing our position at dara's are, that area and we also were given the earlier directives for the garrison, at the end we will be sending troops all area at the present that for them to do that but in the meantime we're going to reinforce and make other
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moves to ensure that we can accomplish that mission of securing the oilfields to deny that access to isis. >> we're going in and then we're coming out. >> at the end of the day my expectation is that it will be fewer than what wehad before and they will be going home . >> reminded of the first question. >> the first question was not the spf commander. >> this was a us only operation were personnel that were on the objective. i know what you're referring to. there were comments in the media that the spf had shouldered our troops or one person on the objective with our forces, i'm not going to comment on what may or may not have happened on the objective. actions on the objective, the aircraft coming in, the aircraft overhead and soldiers assault was a us operation . >>.
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>> unit. any of the pentagon briefing watch it on its entirety, i had gone in the search box at the top of the homepage and commissioners with the ftc will be discussing agency priorities and privacy concerns live from the brookings institution in washington. in about 30 minutes, 2:00 eastern time here on cspan2 on capitol hill iris returns , the house start to work several bills putting one seeking to prevent the sale of e cigarettes the children. later in the week members will consider imposing new sanctions on turkey for the actions taken in syria and in the senate lawmakers gavel in at 3:00 work on a government spending measure


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