Washington: The US-led coalition is planning to focus the next stage of its campaign on countering the Islamic State (banned in Russia) insurgency and the terror group’s trans-border networks, the coalition member states’ ministers said in a joint statement after a meeting in Washington, DC.
“With the conventional military effort against ISIS [Islamic State] in Syria nearing culmination and shifting to a supporting rather than a central role, the Coalition members will open a discussion to plan the next phase of the campaign,” the statement said on Wednesday. “This could involve an effort to counter ISIS’s reversion to insurgency in Syria and Iraq. It could also include, addressing ISIS’s trans-border networks, branches and affiliates.”
The ministers noted in the statement that the Islamic State uses its trans-border networks to conduct activities in other locations in the world and encourage homegrown terrorism.
The ministers also said the movement of battle-hardened foreign Islamic State fighters to other regions in the world such as Southeast Asia and Africa represents a troubling concern.
The coalition partners will consider sharing information on foreign fighters through global networks like Interpol, the statement added.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hosted the meeting earlier on Wednesday to outline plans for the future of the anti-terror campaign and address key issues.The US-led coalition has been fighting Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq since 2014. The coalition’s operations in Syria have not been authorized by the country's government or the UN Security Council.