U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Wednesday that NATO members stood ready to step up military efforts against the Islamic State (ISIS) and held out hope of broadening cooperation between the West and Russia to end Syria’s protracted civil war.
After two days of meetings at NATO’s headquarters in Brussels, Kerry said several alliance members were bringing more to the battle or would do soon. He didn’t outline any fresh commitments specifically, saying plans would be announced only after foreign ministers first consult their governments at home.
These steps would come on top of Germany’s recent approval for sending forces and materiel for a non-combat support role near the Middle East, and a British vote Wednesday that could authorize expanded airstrikes by that country against ISIS in Syria.
Kerry said he called on each of the other 27 members of alliance to do more to strike at the extremist group’s core in Iraq and Syria and strangle its international networks. He said U.S. partners in the region, including NATO member Turkey, should receive defensive assistance.