US lead coalition reviews anti-IS offensive at Canada meeting
Senior officials from the US-led coalition against the Islamic State group (IS) will meet in Canada this week to discuss how to improve the effectiveness of the campaign, two sources with knowledge of the meeting said on Monday.
The sources said attendees of the closed-door meeting, scheduled to be held in Quebec City on Thursday, include retired General John Allen, who was appointed by US President Barack Obama to create the coalition against the militant group.
A spokesman at the US embassy in Ottawa said he could not comment.
Earlier this month, Allen urged Turkey to do more to stop militants crossing its border with Syria. Turkey and the US are now working on plans to jointly sweep IS fighters from a strip of land along the Turkish border.
The Quebec City meeting of the so-called anti-IS Coalition Small Group will focus on all aspects of the struggle against the IS, both on the military and political levels, the sources said.
Fighter jets from the US and Canada are striking against IS targets in Iraq and Syria. They are also training Iraqi fighters.
Western powers say their efforts alone will not defeat the group, insisting that Iraq needs to do more, and that the Quebec meeting will assess Baghdad's actions.
Foreign ministers from the Coalition Small Group met last month with Iraqi Prime Minister Haidar Abadi, who complained the coalition had not done enough to tackle the IS, which holds about a third of the country.
The Small Group comprises of about 20 countries, including Australia, Bahrain, Egypt, France, Germany, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and the United Arab Emirates.