Anti-ISIS Coalition Leaders Discuss Way Ahead

The leaders of all of the defense ministries contributing to the war on ISIS met Thursday in Brussels to decide on the way forward in the fight and to push for more cooperation from the individual countries, along with NATO as a whole. “We are united by a common determination and responsibility to ensure ISIL’s lasting defeat,” US Defense Secretary Ash Carter said before the meeting. While NATO member countries have contributed to the fight through providing forces to conduct airstrikes and training, the organization has “collective capabilities” such as force generation and status of forces agreements to help accelerate the fight against ISIS. The Thursday meeting included non-NATO countries that are helping with the fight, and are providing input into the overall plan to defeat ISIS. This begins by defeating the group in Iraq and Syria, especially the headquarter city of Raqqa in Syria and stronghold of Mosul in Iraq, Carter said. The ministers will meet again later this year to review the progress of its plan, Carter said.