Kerry Calls For New Measures To Counter Changing Isis Fight
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry urged members of a U.S.-led coalition to increase information-sharing and get more creative in the fight against Islamic State (ISIS) as the group seeks to boost recruitment by adopting new languages and moving into new areas.
Kerry said the U.S.-led coalition was making progress in fighting Islamic State, and the number of the group's fighters were estimated to be down by about one-third. A victory in liberating the northern city of Mosul from Islamic State would mark "a critical turning point" in the fight, he said.
But further efforts were needed, Kerry told about 30 defense and foreign ministers in Washington to discuss the effort. For instance, he said, it was critical to break down structural barriers to allow more sharing of information about threats.
"Looking to the future we have to keep breaking down the structural and the bureaucratic barriers in order to be able to exchange up to date information even more quickly and more widely" Kerry said.
The battlefield momentum in Iraq and Syria has shifted against Islamic State, Kerry said, but the international community must now also confront the challenge of stabilizing newly liberated areas.
U.S. officials met with other defense and foreign ministers gathered to discuss the next steps in the two-year-long fight against Islamic State, in particular the militant group's bastion in Mosul.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter discussed the priorities in the fight against Islamic State.
"We now have the momentum in this fight and clear results on the ground, and this week we're making the further plans and the further commitments that will help us deliver to ISIL the lasting defeat that it deserves. Together, we're going to destroy the fact, and the idea of an Islamic state based on ISIL's barbaric ideology" Carter said.
The Iraq donor conference raised more than $2.1 billion in aid, State Department spokesman John Kirby said in a statement. The United Nations has said that, under a worst-case scenario, it could take $2 billion in relief and stabilization funds to deal just with the civilian impact of the Mosul battle and its aftermath.
With the early stages of the Mosul campaign underway, plans are still being finalized to provide urgent humanitarian aid and restore basic services and security for residents and as many as 2.4 million displaced people.
Most of our conversations today were about what happens after the defeat of ISIL, U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter said after a separate meeting of about 30 defense ministers at Joint Base Andrews outside Washington, using an acronym for Islamic State.
A spate of recent attacks claimed or apparently inspired by Islamic State, such as a truck attack in Nice, France, that killed 84 people last week, formed a grim backdrop to the Washington meetings.
Mosul, which Islamic State seized from a collapsing Iraqi army in June 2014, is Iraq's second biggest city and home to a combustible mixture of Sunni Arabs, Kurds, Turkmen and others.
Kerry cautioned that the Iraqi government, must embrace political reconciliation if Islamic State is to be defeated.