Anti-ISIS coalition military commanders meet in Washington

Military commanders from the US-led coalition against ISIS will meet in Washington on Tuesday to discuss ways to halt the group’s advance in Iraq and Syria.

Top brass, including national chiefs of staff, from 22 countries including Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Britain, Canada, Denmark, Egypt, France, Germany, Iraq, Italy, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Spain, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, will also meet US President Barack Obama at Andrews Air Force Base outside the US capital, the White House said.

US Colonel Ed Thomas, spokesman for the chairman of Joint Chiefs of Staff said: they will “discuss a common vision on the counter-ISIL campaign, challenges and the way ahead.”

It is the first time such high-ranking military officials from so many countries have come together since the coalition of about 60 countries was formed in September.

A U.S. State Department official said: “These are military leaders, not policy makers, so one should not expect news announcements out of this conference.”

“The gathering is an opportunity to meet personally and discuss the vision, challenges and way ahead for the counter-ISIL campaign.”

Tuesday’s meeting is expected to start at 10:00 and last most of the day.

US military chief General Martin Dempsey and the commander for the Middle East and Central Asia, General Lloyd Austin, will lead the meeting of their allied counterparts.

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