Hailed the largest international coalition in history, the ‘Global Coalition to defeat ISIS’ consists of 75 member countries.
Established in September 2014 by the Obama Administration, the Global Coalition mission highlights commitment to “degrading and ultimately defeating Daesh” on all fronts employing five lines of operations, including military efforts, cutting off IS’ financing, preventing the flow of foreign fighters, stabilisation of liberated areas, and countering the IS narrative.
The coalition was formed based on calls and UN Security Council resolutions such as UNSCR 2170 which states that; “terrorism can only be defeated by a sustained and comprehensive approach involving the active participation and collaboration of all States… which is why our first priority is to encourage others to join in this important endeavour.”
The 75 nations have contributed to both military and non-military efforts. Some countries have sent troops, weapons, and ammunition, participated in airstrikes, provided military bases, and contributed to training and equipping groups fighting IS.
Other countries supported the campaign through dropping aid packages, funding UN humanitarian efforts, and facilitating political efforts and intelligence sharing. Absent from the coalition are Iran and Russia, due to their ties with the Assad regime, which the US-led coalition wants removed from power.
A fact sheet released by US Department of State on 22 March 2017, lists the coalition’s achievements in the fight against IS. The reports states that the operations have liberated 62 percent of previously IS-controlled terrain in Iraq, and 30 percent in Syria. Additionally, coalition operations have killed more than 180 IS leaders, including al-Baghdadi’s deputies and ministers, and have targeted key facilities controlled by IS such as energy assets and cash storage.
On the civilian front, coalition members have spent more than $22 billion since 2014 on stabilisation efforts, economic development, humanitarian assistance, and police training, in addition to networking and coordination of efforts to disrupt IS activities globally, traveler screening measures, and online counter messaging.
Following the global coalition’s meetings, the ministers of the 68 members released a statement confirming their unity in fighting IS and “reiterating their commitment to an integrated, multidimensional, and comprehensive approach to defeat ISIS and its global networks”.
Despite some advances against IS’ territorial control in Iraq and Syria, and boasting of achievements by coalition members, the Global Coalition continues to suffer some setbacks and faces significant challenges.
One of the notable challenges has been its inability to deter IS’ reach and ability to inspire and coordinate attacks in Europe and the US, such as those terror attacks committed since the founding of the coalition in Paris, Brussels, Nice, Berlin, San Bernardino, Orlando, London and elsewhere.
The next meeting of the coalition is today, in London, and is scheduled to be held amid the international consensus on ISIS; the consensus believes that ISIS can only be fully eradicated if its extremist ideas are wiped out first.
The meeting also will focus on how different religious institutions can provide information networks with ideas and dialogue to refute and correct the misconceptions spread by ISIS about Islam. It will highlight the responsibility of the media and the different roles of journalism to counter terrorism, on paying attention to some journalist coverage that promotes ISIS and other terrorist.