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Thursday, 23 September 2021

International coalition in new pledge to defeat Islamic State

Core group of international coalition strongly vows to defeat the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq

Marwan Sultan in London , Friday 23 Jan 2015
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (Photo: Reuters)

The US and UK have reiterated their determination to defeat the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, pledging to "ramp up" efforts to fight the militant group.

Speaking at a press conference after international talks in London on ways to intensifying campaign against IS, the UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and US Secretary of State John Kerry said the international coalition would be stepping up support for Iraqi forces engaged in the battle against the extremists.

IS fighters have seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria and have recruited hundreds of young European men and woman to join their ranks.

Kerry said the US-led 62-member international coalition aims to raise 12 new Iraqi army brigades while opening training camps for Syrian opposition fighters in Saudi Arabia, Turkey and Qatar.

Twenty other counties took part in London talks, including Middle Eastern partners Egypt, the UAE, Bahrain, Iraq, Turkey, Jordan, Qatar, Kuwait and Saudi Arabia, and Western states Australia,  Belgium, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, and Spain.

Before the conference the UK government warned that fighting against IS would take up to three years.

Hammond also said that it could be months before the Iraqi security forces were ready to take the offensive against IS.

Kerry acknowledged that the fight would be "neither short nor easy".

However, he insisted that Iraqi forces - backed by coalition air strikes - were beginning to gain ground against the extremists.

"In recent months we have seen, definitively, Daesh's momentum halted in Iraq and in some cases reversed. Ground forces supported by nearly 2,000 air strikes now, have reclaimed more than 700 square kilometres from Daesh," he said, using the term for IS deployed in the Arabic-speaking world.

Hammond said London talks had reaffirmed their determination to defeat  IS.

"We all confirmed our commitment to the struggle however long it takes and wherever it leads us to defeating the scourge of violent Islamist extremism," he said.

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