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Kerry: US Allies Will Destroy Islamic State

by Luis Ramirez February 02, 2016

The United States and its allies Tuesday said they will "accelerate and intensify" their campaign against the Islamic State militant group.

"The world expects security from us and we'll destroy ISIS," said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry at a meeting in Rome Tuesday of foreign ministers from 23 of the nations joining in the fight against Islamic State jihadists.

"We will keep the pressure on, squeezing Daesh from every single angle, strangling its attempts to establish networks elsewhere, cutting their finances, exposing their lies," Kerry said at a news conference after the meeting.

The coalition noted the strides it has made against Islamic State militants, saying the group has lost 40 percent of the territory it had gained in Iraq and 20 percent in Syria.

"We are committed to using every resource at our disposal in order to remain on the offensive on every front," Kerry said.

There was, however, no commitment to order air strikes or other military action against Islamic State in Libya, where it has been expanding considerably.

"We follow with concern the growing influence of ISIL/Da'esh in Libya, will continue to monitor closely developments there, and stand ready to support the Government of National Accord in its efforts to establish peace and security for the Libyan people," the coalition said in a final statement.

Ahead of the meeting there had been pressure, especially in France, for expanding the military strikes to Syria. At Tuesday's gathering in Rome, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius, acknowledged the calls but said Paris was not proposing military action. "There is pressure, but that is not the position of the government," Fabius told reporters.

The host of Tuesday's meeting, Italian foreign minister Paolo Gentiloni suggested there was no need for "hasty military intervention."

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