Today, John Kerry hosted the first anti-ISIS coalition conference at NATO Headquarters in Brussels. The meeting consisted of high-level representatives from 62 countries willing to take the fight against the Islamic State.
In a press conference before the meeting, Kerry explained that an outcome of the meeting will be the unified message that the coalition will “engage in this campaign for as long as it takes to prevail.”
It was noted that everyone in the coalition recognizes the common threat of ISIS as a danger to its own interests and values.
Although much work is still to be done, Kerry detailed what progress has been made. Roughly 1,000 coalition air strikes have already halted ISIS momentum and inflicted damage on its logistical and operational capabilities.
“No large Daesh (ISIS) unit can move forward aggressively without worrying about what will come down on it from the skies,” Kerry said.
Kerry's optimism was strong, citing continued progress in the fight against ISIS. Apart from coalition air strikes, the Iraqi army, Sunni tribal fighters and Kurdish forces are fighting the ground war against ISIS.
A Senior State Department Official noted that during the conference there was a lot of discussion on limiting foreign fighters and the damage they could inflict if they come home. Officials also noted the coalition's desire to disrupt ISIS' financial income. The group currently brings in money through oil sales, extortion, plunder, ransom, human trafficking and the sale of Syrian antiquities.
Iraq's new Prime Minister, Haider al-Abadi, was present at the conference and called for continued momentum and advancement against ISIS. The meeting held today symbolizes that this coalition does exist and has created a framework to create progress and move forward.
Kerry concluded his opening remarks by saying, “Our coalition does not summon hate, but rather the courage to build a future that is based on shared interests, shared values, and a shared faith in one another.”