PARIS – U.S. Defence Secretary Ash Carter says defence ministers from France and five other nations, excluding Canada, have agreed to intensify the campaign against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
He says the countries will work together to fill the military requirements as the fight unfolds over the coming months.
Carter was speaking at a press conference with France’s Defence Minister Jean-Yves Le Drian, after a working lunch with five other defence ministers, mainly from Europe.
They are mapping out the co-ordinated campaign against IS over the next year. Carter and Le Drian co-hosted the meeting with ministers from France, Australia, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and the United Kingdom.
Canada was not invited to the meeting.
Carter also is announcing that all 26 nations in the anti-ISIS coalition and Iraq will meet in Brussels next month to continue the talks.
Canadian CF-18 fighter jets are still bombing ISIS targets in Iraq and Syria as the Liberal government figures out how to fill its electoral pledge to end the combat mission.
Defence Minister Harjit Sajjan said Tuesday there are many meetings about the anti-ISIS coalition and Canada not being part of Wednesday’s discussions won’t leave the country on the sidelines.
-with a file from Global News
© 2016 The Canadian Press