According to the Washington Times newspaper, the Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said that ISIL nearing defeat in Iraq and Syria, and that stabilizing the Middle East after the terrorist group falls is the key strategic concern facing the international community .
Mr. Carter and other senior U.S. military leaders met Wednesday with their counterparts from the 36-nation coalition backing indigenous forces fighting to drive ISIL from Iraq and Syria.
The newspaper added that the meetings are part of a two-day summit in Washington to finalize plans for the highly anticipated offensives against ISIL’s Syrian stronghold of Raqqa and its self-styled Iraqi capital of Mosul.
During a briefing with reporters, Mr. Carter characterized Wednesday’s discussions as a means to “rigorously evaluate and further accelerate” the anti-ISIL fight.
Part of that acceleration means considering the next steps after ISIL is driven out of Mosul and Raqqa, British Defense Minister Michael Fallon said.