The US-led anti-Islamic State (Isis) alliance comprising Western and Arab powers is gearing up for a crucial meeting in Rome next week to analyse the existing threat from the terrorist group. The coalition is currently training and arming Syrian rebel forces and Iraqi government troops to take on the Isis. Besides, the US, Britain and France are carrying out their own air strikes.
The US State Department, which confirmed US Secretary of State John Kerry's presence at the meeting, said: "Coalition partners will review progress to date and discuss ways to further intensify commitments across all lines of effort to degrade and defeat this terrorist group."
The members of the coalition mainly led by the US include representatives from Britain, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Belgium, Spain and Sweden. The Middle East powers who support the coalition are Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates. Canada, New Zealand and Australia will also take part in the meeting.
One of the major decisions due to be taken at the conference is expanding the anti-Isis operation beyond Iraq and Syria into Libya. The intervention in Libya may be led by Italy. Meanwhile, the United Nations will be sending its observers in future missions to fight the Isis.
The Rome meeting is scheduled to take place on 2 February after which Kerry will head to London for a conference of donor countries looking to support reconstruction in Libya.