Anti-IS coalition talks focus on latest jihadist threat

  • Prasun Sonwalkar, None, London
  • Updated: Jan 23, 2015 01:52 IST

US secretary of state John Kerry said the international coalition against Islamic State had ‘a lot of work to do’ to coordinate and counter the dreaded group that has taken over large parts of northern Syria and Iraq.

As foreign ministers from 21 countries met here to discuss strategy and efforts to combat IS, British foreign secretary Philip Hammond said the coalition’s strategy over the last five months had contained IS momentum, but added that much more needed to be done.

Besides combat operations, Hammond said the coalition was also focused on efforts to ‘tackle the underlying narrative’ of the IS that inspired many across the globe to join its ranks, including over 500 from Britain.

Seeing a ‘big job ahead’ in Iraq, Hammond said: “We are building the Iraqi security forces from a state of disarray and poor training and poor leadership... for what will need to be a sustained offensive against (IS) forces on the ground.” Besides the US and UK, the meeting was attended by representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, the Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates.

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