Military chiefs from the UK, France and the US and other nations in the coalition against Islamic State (Isis/Daesh) are to meet in Paris on 20 January to discuss accelerating the fight against the IS following the recapture of Ramadi and other gains against the extremist group.
The coalition, which also includes Germany, Italy, Australia and the Netherlands, is to scale up its assault on the IS. The western military leaders are to discuss tactics to go crackdown on IS in its Iraqi and Syrian strongholds of Mosul and Raqqa.
US Defense Secretary Ash Carter has said the meeting will allow for military heads to assess their capabilities. "I'll be soliciting their views and describing to them my thoughts about how we can accelerate the campaign, including the variety of capabilities, military capabilities, that will be required," Carter said, predicting increases in the numbers of trainers in the months ahead, including of police who can help hold territory seized from Islamic State," he was quoted by Reuters as saying.
Conspicuous in their absence from the talks are the Arab nations involved in the coalition against IS. Saudi Arabia and other gulf nations have lessened their military involvement in the Levant following their intervention in Yemen against Iran-backed Houthi militias.
Canada has also been left out of the talks following the North American nation's decision to withdraw its military commitment in Iraq and Syria. Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau made a suspension of Canada's bombing in Syria a key part of his elections platform.