The New York Times reports: With Islamist militant fighters on the ground in Syria and Iraq moving faster than the international coalition arrayed against them, a meeting in Paris by coalition members on Tuesday seemed unlikely to reverse the momentum anytime soon.
With the French and American governments playing host, 24 foreign ministers or their representatives have been meeting here in the aftermath of serious losses to the Islamic State in both Iraq and Syria last month and the possibility that more territory will be lost in the coming days.
The group did not embrace any major changes and appeared set to continue on its current course, even though over the past few weeks Syria’s government had lost control of the strategically important city of Palmyra and the Iraqi government has lost control of Ramadi, the capital of Anbar Province, to the Islamic State.
Both of those cities have strategic and symbolic significance, and now the major northern Syrian city of Aleppo appears in danger of possibly falling to the militants as well.
Comments from Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi of Iraq, State Department officials as well as Laurent Fabius, the French foreign minister, painted a portrait of weaknesses in the fight against the Islamic State and offered reluctant recognition, albeit clad in the neutral language of diplomacy, that coalition efforts were inadequate. [Continue reading…]