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Battle of Mosul: Anti-IS coalition to take stock on Oct 25

AFP , Monday 17 Oct 2016
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Defence ministers from the international coalition fighting the Islamic State group in Mosul and elsewhere in Iraq and Syria will meet in Paris on October 25, France said on Monday.

US Defence Secretary Ashton Carter will be among 13 ministers who will assess progress in the battle to drive IS Islamist militants from Iraq's second-biggest city, which Iraqi forces launched on Monday.

"The aim is to take a look at the progress of the Mosul plan," an aide to French Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian said.

The ministers are also expected to stress the importance of the next step in the battle against IS -- routing the Islamist militants from their Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.

The coalition is concerned that IS will attempt to move fighters and military equipment from Mosul to Syria as the offensive intensifies.

"We must prevent (fighters) based in Mosul from moving easily to Raqqa and we need to ensure that those who are currently able to roam around freely in Syria can be tracked down," the aide said.

Although the coalition includes around 60 countries, the meeting will only comprise Western nations providing air support.

They are: United States, France, Britain, Canada, Australia, Germany, Belgium, Netherlands, Italy, Spain, Norway, Denmark and New Zealand.

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