Most of Daesh Leader Baghdadi's Deputies Dead - Tillerson

There was no apparent announcement of a new overall strategy, however.

The US-led coalition in Syria and Iraq carried out 35 strikes consisting of 89 engagements against the Islamic State on Thursday, including 22 strikes near Raqqa, Operation Inherent Resolve said in a press release.

Such approaches make the essential task of building a broad coalition to defeat the global threat of ISIS more hard. A spokesman said US military advisers are on the ground in the Tabqa area to help coordinate the operation, which aims to block IS fighters from western approaches to Raqqa.

In his speech, Tillerson called on USA allies to contribute more to the anti-ISIS effort and prioritize the campaign above all other issues facing the Middle East.

"The United States will do its part, but the circumstances on the ground requires more from all of you", Mr Tillerson said. "We can not deal with it, it's organizing, killing, and chaos and destruction; a very corrupted ideology", he said. "We must continue to keep our focus on the most urgent matter at hand".

Abadi met with Trump on Monday and said afterwards he had won assurances of more USA support in the war against IS.

"We are at the stage of completely decimating Daesh", al-Abadi said, using the Arabic acronym for IS.

Trump has ordered his generals to craft an accelerated strategy to "eradicate" the IS group, and the allies hoped to learn more during the closed-door discussions and follow-up talks.

U.S. Navy Capt. Jeff Davis can only describe the plan as broad. 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. It has declared this a "safe zone", and indicated that it may begin sending Syrian refugees back inside.

How this plays out in the months to come will also be under discussion in Washington, with Tillerson attempting to maintain support for the U.S. vision among the mainly Western and Arab partners.

Tillerson is the first secretary of state in modern history with no experience of public office.

ISIS has been losing ground in both Iraq and Syria, with three separate forces, backed by the US, Turkey and Russian Federation, advancing on the group's Syrian stronghold city of Raqqa.

Tillerson said similar efforts should be replicated elsewhere.

During the 2016 presidential election campaign, Trump was critical of then-President Barack Obama for what he called a weak fight against IS militants.

Earlier this week Abadi had evoked a pledge by Donald Trump's administration for more support.

That emphasis was front and center in the State Department's announcement of the two-day conference, which said a key goal of the gathering would be to "accelerate global efforts to defeat ISIS in the remaining areas it holds in Iraq and Syria and maximize pressure on its branches, affiliates, and networks".

Creating safe zones could ratchet up United States military involvement in Syria and mark a major departure from former president Barack Obama's more cautious approach.

Secretary of State Rex Tillerson will host the 68 foreign ministers and senior Coalition leaders from around the world. Officials expect in the coming months to see the dissipation of surviving fighters into underground cells that could plan and mount attacks throughout the Middle East, South and Central Asia, Europe, South America and the United States. Other details of the plan have remained classified.

In his 20-minute speech, Tillerson noted that over the past year, the flow of foreign fighters into Iraq and Syria had dropped more than 90 per cent, and that 75 per cent of the Islamic State's online propaganda had been eliminated.

  • Leroy Wright