Led anti-Daesh campaign hitting new phase

Washington, D.C. -In advance of tomorrow's meeting between Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and senior officials from the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS, Human Rights First calls on the secretary to put forward clear proposals on how to combat the group's rise with a holistic approach that focuses on establishing post-ISIS governance in liberated areas in Iraq.

Diplomats said they're eager for the administration to clarify its strategy. The gathering is the first since the Trump administration took office, and is focused on looking past what USA and allied nations say is the likely military defeat this year of the Islamic State as a large-scale fighting force.

The challenge for the Trump administration in Syria is that the United States could be a victim of its own success: by prosecuting the campaign against ISIS, the USA military is building out an American zone of control on the ground in a large area of eastern Syria.

Mr Johnson was forced to skip a "family photo" of the ministers in Washington, but returned to the meeting later on Wednesday (Thursday AEDT) and spoke to Ms Bishop.

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson has said that ISIS group leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi will be killed as almost all of his deputies are now dead and it is "only a matter of time" that he meets the same fate.

"Our line was always that we should comply with worldwide law on refugees and the protection of refugees", Silva said. "We must continue to keep our focus on the most urgent matter at hand".

Talking beside Mr Tillerson, Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi, who met Mr Trump at the White House on Monday, said "we are trying to liberate Mosul" and provide essential services to the country's citizens.

Al-Abadi struck a positive note on the fight, saying that the fight against Isis "is in the stage of decimating it, not containing it".

In comments during the presidential campaign, Trump accused former President Barack Obama of founding the extremist group.

French Foreign Minister Jean-Marc Ayrault said he was disappointed the USA hasn't outlined a more detailed plan, particularly for Raqqa's future. He said he understood Trump's administration was still formulating policy, explaining that he will be more concerned if decisions aren't made before the end of April.

"And we see that day in day out, in all of the towns and cities that Daesh control".

Mr Tillerson also called on other countries to contribute more to the anti-IS effort. Regional partners from Iraq, Turkey and Jordan were also in attendance.

"The United States will do its part, but the circumstances on the ground require more from all of you", the secretary of state told the assembled foreign ministers. But he said other nations, particularly those which have faced IS or IS-inspired attacks, must do more.

The United States airlifted Arab Syrian rebels and Kurds into the terrorist group's stronghold city Raqqa, which is their headquarters or "capital".

Although Tillerson alluded to the intensified campaign, he said the Trump administration was still refining its strategy.

"A more defined course of action in Syria is still coming together", he said.

Secretary Tillerson's remarks and the March 9 Senate testimony of U.S. Central Command Commander Gen. Joseph Votel, who is tasked with overseeing military operations in Syria, indicate that conventional U.S. forces may be needed for a stabilization mission in Syria, which is indicative of the scale of the challenge that is staring the United States in the face in eastern Syria.

"I am very confident that Daesh will be defeated", said Gen Jones.

  • Leroy Wright