Anti-ISIL coalition says it’ll be months before it can attack extremists

Islamic Extremism

Ministers and government officials attend an international meeting on defeating the Islamic State militant group, hosted by British foreign secretary Philip Hammond at Lancaster House in LondonThursday Jan. 22, 2015. (AP Photo/Stefan Rousseau/PA)

The anti-ISIL coalition will need months before they can begin significant combat against the extremists, Britain’s foreign minister said during an international meeting in London on Thursday.

U.K. Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and officials from 22 discussed defeating the militant group, which controls a swath of Iraq and Syria. CCTV’s Richard Bestic reported this story from London.

Anti-ISIL coalition says it\'ll be months before it can attack extremists

Anti-ISIL coalition says it\'ll be months before it can attack extremists

U.K. Foreign Secretary Phillip Hammond, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, and officials from 22 discussed defeating the militant group, which controls a swath of Iraq and Syria. CCTV's Richard Bestic reported this story from London.

While ISIL’s momentum in Iraq has been stopped, bombs and bullets aren’t enough, Kerry said.

Iraqi forces are in a “state of disarray” which has prevented them from dislodging Islamic State militants from the country and the world must do more to starve the extremists of money and militants, Hammond said before officials from several Arab and Gulf States, European nations, Turkey, Australia, Canada, and the U.S.

A U.S.-led coalition has carried out more than 1,000 airstrikes since August against IS group positions and has sent hundreds of troops to train Iraqi soldiers, but has failed to deliver a decisive blow against the Islamic extremists.

The view from London meeting is that air attacks have stopped ISIL’s advance, but it’ll be years before the organization is rolled back, Hammond said.

“Most importantly, we all confirmed our commitment to the struggle however long it takes and wherever it leads us to defeating the scourge of violent Islamist extremism,” Hammond said.

Among the many challenges for the coalition is how to cut ISIL’s funding and critically how to stop foreign fighters crossing Turkey’s porous borders and joining the terror group.

Interpol estimates 5,000 European citizens have joined the ranks of ISIL. If needed, ISIL threats against the lives of two Japanese hostages were a reminder the terror group remained lethally active, placing yet further pressure on the coalition.

For the future, the airstrikes and the training of Iraqi troops will continue, but what this coalition conference has demonstrated is that removing ISIL from Syria and Iraq is a long-haul project.

Report complied with information from The Associated Press and CCTV America