U.S. to host 68-nation meeting on countering Islamic State | Reuters

WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host a 68-nation meeting in Washington this month to discuss the next moves by a coalition fighting Islamic State, the State Department said on Thursday.The March 22-23 meeting of coalition foreign ministers aimed 'to accelerate international efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates, and networks,' the State Department said in a statement, using an acronym for Islamic State.The State Department said it would be the first meeting of the full coalition since December 2014, shortly after it was founded.'It's an opportunity for Secretary Tillerson to lay out the challenges that are facing the coalition moving forward,' acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters. 'We all recognise that we have seen progress in defeating ISIS on the ground ..

Reuters March 10, 2017 04:00:07 IST
U.S. to host 68-nation meeting on countering Islamic State
| Reuters

US to host 68nation meeting on countering Islamic State
 Reuters

WASHINGTON U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host a 68-nation meeting in Washington this month to discuss the next moves by a coalition fighting Islamic State, the State Department said on Thursday.The March 22-23 meeting of coalition foreign ministers aimed "to accelerate international efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates, and networks," the State Department said in a statement, using an acronym for Islamic State.The State Department said it would be the first meeting of the full coalition since December 2014, shortly after it was founded."It's an opportunity for Secretary Tillerson to lay out the challenges that are facing the coalition moving forward," acting State Department spokesman Mark Toner told reporters.

"We all recognise that we have seen progress in defeating ISIS on the ground ... how do we leverage that success? How do we build on that success?"Islamic State has declared a caliphate in Iraq and Syria. It has been losing ground in both countries, with three separate forces, backed by the United States, Turkey and Russia, advancing on its Syrian stronghold of Raqqa.President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Jan. 28 requesting the Pentagon, joint chiefs of staff and other agencies to submit a preliminary plan in 30 days for defeating Islamic State.

Toner said details of that plan are still classified, declining to provide further information. He said the meeting would look at how "to augment existing capabilities and processes on the ground."Iraqi forces have advanced deeper into west Mosul, facing stiff resistance from Islamic State militants who have used suicide car bombs and snipers to defend their last major stronghold in Iraq.

The Iraqi operation to retake the eastern bank of the city, launched in mid-October with support from the U.S.-led coalition, took more than three months. The offensive to recapture west Mosul began less than three weeks ago.Mosul is the largest city which Islamic State has held. The group has lost most of the cities it captured in northern and western Iraq in 2014 and 2015.There is little doubt Iraqi forces will eventually prevail over the militants, who are outnumbered and overpowered, but even if it loses Mosul, Islamic State is expected to revert to their insurgent tactics of old.On Wednesday, bomb blasts ripped through a wedding party near Tikrit, which was recaptured by Iraqi forces in 2015, killing more than 20 people. (Reporting by Steve Holland and Yeganeh Torbati; Writing by Eric Walsh; editing by Grant McCool)

This story has not been edited by Firstpost staff and is generated by auto-feed.

Updated Date:

TAGS:

also read

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources
| Reuters
World

France, Germany to agree to NATO role against Islamic State - sources | Reuters

By Robin Emmott and John Irish | BRUSSELS/PARIS BRUSSELS/PARIS France and Germany will agree to a U.S. plan for NATO to take a bigger role in the fight against Islamic militants at a meeting with President Donald Trump on Thursday, but insist the move is purely symbolic, four senior European diplomats said.The decision to allow the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to join the coalition against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq follows weeks of pressure on the two allies, who are wary of NATO confronting Russia in Syria and of alienating Arab countries who see NATO as pushing a pro-Western agenda."NATO as an institution will join the coalition," said one senior diplomat involved in the discussions. "The question is whether this just a symbolic gesture to the United States

China's Xi says navy should become world class
| Reuters
World

China's Xi says navy should become world class | Reuters

BEIJING Chinese President Xi Jinping on Wednesday called for greater efforts to make the country's navy a world class one, strong in operations on, below and above the surface, as it steps up its ability to project power far from its shores.China's navy has taken an increasingly prominent role in recent months, with a rising star admiral taking command, its first aircraft carrier sailing around self-ruled Taiwan and a new aircraft carrier launched last month.With President Donald Trump promising a US shipbuilding spree and unnerving Beijing with his unpredictable approach on hot button issues including Taiwan and the South and East China Seas, China is pushing to narrow the gap with the U.S. Navy.Inspecting navy headquarters, Xi said the navy should "aim for the top ranks in the world", the Defence Ministry said in a statement about his visit."Building a strong and modern navy is an important mark of a top ranking global military," the ministry paraphrased Xi as saying.