The US plans to increase the number of troops in Iraq as it seeks to “accelerate” its campaign to “crush” Islamic State in the region, the Pentagon chief said. Ash Carter met with his French partner seeking ways to bring Arab states “in the game,” too.
Aside from his bilateral meeting with his counterpart and “good friend,” French Defense Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, the US Defense Secretary Carter sat down for the first with seven major members of the anti-Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) coalition. The “face-to-face meeting” included Britain, Germany, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands, all trying to figure out in what ways they could boost their fight against Islamic militants.
“The object of today is to satisfy ourselves that the balance of the campaign is right…and that we can now capitalize on the setbacks Daesh has suffered in Iraq and move on to tighten the noose around the head of the snake in Syria in Raqqa,” British Defense Secretary Michael Fallon told reporters.
The coalition’s major goal right now is to target and destroy IS headquarters in Iraq and Syria while also combating their supporters worldwide, “everywhere its metastasis have spread around the world,” the Pentagon stressed.
“We’re doing this by providing a plan, clear leadership and the power of a global coalition wielding a suite of capabilities [that include] airstrikes, special forces, cyber tools, intelligence, equipment, mobility and logistics, and training, advice and assistance,” Carter said.
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