Meeting with representatives of nations that have joined the United States in its fight against the so-called Islamic State, Secretary of State John Kerry said the offensive was having “significant impact.”
“‘Our commitment will be measured most likely in years but our efforts are already having a significant impact,’ Kerry said at the start of a first meeting of ministers from a coalition of more than 60 countries that Washington has assembled to destroy Islamic State, which is also known as Daesh.
“‘The roughly 1,000 coalition air missions we have flown have reduced Daesh’s leadership and inflicted damage on its logistical and operational capabilities.'”
If you remember, the Islamic State came to international prominence over the summer, when it began a brazen and lightning-fast attack on Iraq. Since then, the Sunni militant group has overtaken several Iraqi cities and has taken responsibility for the beheading of three Americans.
As the Islamic State, which is also known as ISIS and ISIL, moved farther into Iraq, the United States began an air campaign against the group. Along with its allies, the United States expanded those strikes into Syria in September.
This meeting in Brussels was the first of foreign ministers who are part of the coalition. The Wall Street Journal reports:
“Wednesday’s meeting, which is hosted by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization headquarters in Brussels, brings together foreign ministers of the international coalition against Islamic State. The ministers meeting in Brussels are reviewing the strategy against the group and discuss the format for further such discussions.
“The meeting comes as the Pentagon says that Iran launched airstrikes against Islamic State in eastern Iraq. Rear Adm. John Kirby said the U.S. believes it could be the first time Tehran has launched manned aircraft from inside Iran to strike targets in Iraq, the Associated Press reported.
“The U.S. hasn’t asked Iran to join the international effort against Islamic State. The apparent airstrikes weren’t coordinated, Rear Adm. Kirby said.”