The meeting of the international coalition against the Islamic State started in London on Thursday with the participation of foreign ministers of some 21 Arab and Western countries, as well as Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Al-Abadi, his Turkish counterpart Ahmet Davutoglu and United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon. The meeting, held upon a request by UK Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond, discusses military operations that have been launched so far against the ISIS fighters, Spokeswoman for the British Foreign Ministry Farah Dakhlallah, told KUNA in a statement. The meeting tackles mechanisms of strengthening and coordinating efforts exerted by the international coalition against this organization (ISIS), she said, noting the gathering comes in the framework of a number of meetings among member states of the coalition. Representatives from Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Netherlands, Norway, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey and UAE, the UK and US are taking part in the meeting, she said. “It’s vital that we consider what more we can all do to tackle the issue of foreign fighters, to clamp down on ISIS’ financing, to step up humanitarian assistance and continue our coordinated military campaign,” British Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond said.
The Syrian Coalition repeatedly raised doubts about the effectiveness of the anti-ISIS international coalition’s strategy to defeat ISIS as long as it does not tackle the root cause of terrorism in the region, namely the Assad regime. President Khoja attributes ISIS’s surge in the region to the “reluctance of the friends of the Syrian people to stop Assad’s killing machine, especially the failure to supply the FSA with advanced weapons needed to counter regime forces.” Khoja points out that “Assad is no longer strong enough to regain control all over Syria. He depends solely on his air force to bomb rebel-held areas, while on the ground he depends on the Afghan and Pakistani mercenaries, among others.” (Source: Syrian Coalition + Al Arabi al-Jadid)