Islamic State: Coalition fight against IS 'may take years' – Kerry

Islamic State: Coalition fight against IS ‘may take years’ – Kerry

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The international coalition’s fight against the Islamic State militant group may take years, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.
Mr Kerry told the high-level meeting of coalition members in Brussels that it would “engage for as long as it takes” to prevail. Foreign ministers from about 60 states are meeting at Nato headquarters. Coalition jets have bombed IS in Iraq and Syria, but the US has
distanced itself from Iranian air strikes. A Pentagon spokesman, Rear Adm John Kirby, said the US had received indications that Iranian F-4 Phantom jets were in action in Iraq in recent days. It is believed the Iranian planes carried out air strikes in the eastern province of Diyala. Without confirming the air strikes directly, a top Iranian official dismissed the idea that the air strikes had been co-ordinated with the coalition. IS controls large areas of Syria and Iraq, imposing a rigid version of Sunni Islam and persecuting or killing non-believers. ‘Danger to all’ Mr Kerry told the talks at Nato that the coalition’s diversity was a sign of strength. IS, he said, was a danger to the interests and values of all the countries involved. While it might take years before the coalition prevailed, its military
actions were already having a damaging impact on IS, he said. Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi is attending the talks along with foreign ministers from European, Arab and other countries. They will discuss the best military strategy against IS and how to stem the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria. Significant differences remain between the US and Turkey, with Turkey demanding the establishment of a safe area along part of its border with Syria before it allows its air bases to be used to launch air strikes. -BBC

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