Thu, Jul 21, 2016 - Page 1 News List

Anti-IS coalition leaders meeting in Washington

AP, WASHINGTON

Defense and foreign ministers from more than 30 nations are gathering in Washington to plan the next steps in the fight against the Islamic State (IS) group and to determine what more they can do as the fights for key cities in Iraq and Syria move forward.

US Secretary of Defense Ashton Carter was scheduled to meet with his counterparts yesterday to discuss how they can accelerate the campaign and build on some of the momentum, particularly in Iraq.

The Washington meeting comes as Iraqi security forces, aided by the coalition, are preparing to encircle and eventually attempt to retake Mosul.

France and the US are preparing a coordinated strike against the IS group in Mosul, French government spokesman Stephane Le Foll said in Paris yesterday.

“[French Minister of Defense] Jean Yves Le Drian is in Washington. He is preparing with the Americans a coordinated attack on Mosul,” le Foll said on France Info radio.

The meeting of defense ministers at Joint Base Andrews was to be the fourth time that Carter has convened an anti-IS coalition meeting.

Pentagon press secretary Peter Cook said Carter would talk about the military campaign and how it can be accelerated.

Meanwhile, US Secretary of State John Kerry is to host a joint meeting of defense and foreign ministers in the counter-IS coalition today for the first time.

They are expected to talk about the coordination of political and military efforts, including counter-terrorist financing.

Additional reporting by Reuters

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