US Gathers Allies to Finalise Plans on Defeating the Islamic State

Defense ministers now have a military plan to liberate the cities with local Iraqi and Syrian forces.

2 min read
File photo: Members loyal to the ISIS in Iraq and the Levant (ISIS) wave ISIS flags as they drive around Raqqa, Syria. (Photo: Reuters)

The United States gathered its allies in the coalition fighting the Islamic State group today and agreed on a plan to corner the jihadists in their final bastions.

US Defence Secretary Ash Carter told reporters that an accelerated military effort would soon see the group pushed back to Raqa in Syria and Mosul in Iraq.

He warned that isolating and taking out what he called the IS “parent tumor” would not eliminate its violent ideology or its ability to spring attacks elsewhere.

But defense ministers from the Western and Arab countries of the coalition now have a military plan to liberate the cities with local Iraqi and Syrian forces.

Separately, US Secretary of State John Kerry has also met with foreign ministers from the coalition countries to discuss the broader political and humanitarian plan.

And donor countries were set to pledge what officials hoped would be up to USD 2 billion to help civilians return to normal life in liberated areas of Iraq.

Baghdad needs the money to rebuild in areas that have been retaken and enable the population to return.

The fight against Daesh is obviously far from finished, even as we have progress. Mosul is not yet free. Acts of terrorism remain a constant daily danger. But the momentum–there is nobody at this table who would argue that the momentum hasn’t shifted, it has shifted. And Daesh has been driven out of almost half of the territory that once occupied in Iraq.
John Kerry, US Secretary of State

The two days of meetings were called as jihadist attacks many of which are inspired by ISIS are proliferating around the world.

The coalition, and in particular its US leadership, are keen to seize back the narrative and emphasize what they see as progress on the main battlefield.

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