FILE - In this Tuesday, March 7, 2017, file photo soldiers take combat positions as Iraqi security forces advance during fighting against ISIS militants in western Mosul, Iraq. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed, File)
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The 68-nation U.S.-led coalition against ISIS will meet in Washington on Wednesday to accelerate efforts to destroy the remaining extremist strongholds in Iraq and Syria.The day-long ministerial-level discussion at the State Department will also help plan for the political aftermath of the battles for the cities of Mosul in Iraq and Raqqa in Syria.Last month, the Pentagon gave Trump an initial draft of its revised anti-ISIS plan.On Oct. 17 last year, Iraqi troops – backed by coalition air power, special forces and artillery – launched an offensive to retake Mosul from ISIS's so-called caliphate.The Pentagon is backing an alliance of local Kurdish and Arab militias to take the city, but Turkey has its own rebel force in the region and Russia is backing Bashar Assad's government.The United States, however, does not want to commit too many of its own troops to the fight – despite plans to more than double its own 850-strong contingent in the country and add artillery units.
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