Defense, foreign ministers to plan next steps against IS

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense and foreign ministers from more than 30 nations are gathering in Washington to plan the next steps in the fight against the Islamic State and to determine what more they can do as the fights for key cities in Iraq and Syria move forward.

Defense Secretary Ash Carter will meet with his counterparts Wednesday to discuss how they can accelerate the campaign and build on the momentum, particularly in Iraq. The meeting comes as Iraqi security forces, aided by the coalition, are preparing to encircle and eventually attempt to retake the key northern city of Mosul.

On Thursday there will be a joint meeting of defense and foreign ministers in the counter-IS coalition. They will discuss counter-terrorist financing, combating foreign fighters, and stabilizing areas freed from Islamic State control.