The US Secretary of State says ISIL’s momentum in Iraq has been halted or reversed.
John Kerry was speaking in London after a meeting of over 20 members of the US-led coalition against the jihadists who have seized large swathes of Iraq and Syria.
“In recent months we have seen definitively … momentum halted in Iraq and in some cases reversed,” Kerry told a news conference following the talks.
“Ground forces supported by nearly 2,000 air strikes now have reclaimed some 700 square kilometers,” he said, adding that Iraqi forces would be getting lots of US-made M16 rifles “very, very shortly.”
Military efforts and stemming the flow of foreign fighters were central to the London meeting.
‘‘We all understand Daesh, as it is commonly known in the Arab World, is not simply a Syrian problem,” Kerry said.
“It is not an Iraqi problem. Daesh is a global problem and it demands a coordinated, comprehensive and enduring global response.’‘
A warning however came from Iraq’s Prime Minister, who was also in London for the talks.
His country’s economy heavily reliant on oil, Haider al-Abadi said the drop in global prices was disastrous for national finances and could hurt Iraq’s ability to fight ISIL militants.