We meet at last: the anti-ISIS coalition

We meet at last: the anti-ISIS coalition

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to host all 68 countries of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS

Photo: Reuters

Photo: Reuters

US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is set to host all 68 countries of the Global Coalition to Counter ISIS for the first time since the group’s inception in 2014. At that time the terrorist group was devouring vast swathes of Iraq and Syria. Much has changed since then.

Over the past two years, ISIS has lost almost half of its territory in Iraq and 20% of its holdings in Syria.

Most recently, the extremist group lost control of eastern Mosul. Despite facing difficulties manoeuvring in the city’s narrow streets, the 100,000-strong Iraqi, Kurdish and Iranian-trained forces are expected to overcome the remaining ISIS fighters in Mosul in the coming weeks.

The jihadist stronghold of Raqqa is also on the brink of recapture, with three separate forces backed by the US, Russia and Turkey advancing on the self-declared caliphate’s capital.

Elsewhere, however, ISIS-affiliated groups are intensifying attacks. Since late 2016 Burkina Faso, Nigeria and Libya have seen an upsurge in jihadist activity, with at least 100 killed in the past month alone. Mr Tillerson and co will be looking for ways to curb these activities at their summit on Wednesday.

Dig deeper: Pressure building: what next for ISIS?