By Arab News
Saudi Arabia will host in Riyadh on Sunday a conference of heads of the general staff of 14 allied countries fighting against the Islamic State (Daesh).
The delegates will discuss increasing coordination between participating countries to serve regional and international security.
The meeting aims to enhance efforts by the alliance, which has achieved tangible progress in recent operations against the terrorist organization.
Lt. Gen. Abdulrahman bin Saleh Al-Bunian, president of the chiefs of staff, said the Kingdom’s hosting of the conference under the leadership of King Salman reflects continued Saudi commitment to international efforts against terrorist organizations, foremost among them Daesh.
Al-Bunian said the Kingdom is a target of terrorists, but is determined to continue its efforts against terrorism and to take all necessary measures via its military alliance to target Daesh in Syria and Iraq and prevent it from destabilizing the region and the world.
He said the Kingdom is working with the international alliance via intellectual, financial and security paths to weaken such organizations and criminalize anyone who offers them help.
The countries participating in the conference are Jordan, the United Arab Emirates (UAE), the US, Bahrain, Turkey, Tunisia, Saudi Arabia, Oman, Qatar, Kuwait, Lebanon, Malaysia, Morocco and Nigeria.
Saudi Arabia was among the first countries to call for forming an alliance against terrorist organizations on all levels.
After the declaration of the alliance in September 2014, Riyadh offered $500 million for
relief work in Iraq. It has also participated in air sorties against Daesh, and exchanged intelligence with participating countries.
Ash Carter, US defense secretary, recently said that President-elect Donald Trump must commit to “destroying the tumor of Daesh” by leading the fight against the extremist group.
“There is a need for the US to remain actively engaged as leader of this coalition,” he said while addressing members of the Global Coalition against Daesh at its meeting in London on Dec. 19.
Meanwhile, the terrorist group on Saturday launched one of its fiercest assaults yet on the besieged Syrian city of Deir Ez Zor, leaving more than 30 regime fighters and radicals dead.
The brutal attack — on a day that saw many outbreaks of violence across Syria — came as the political opposition said it “supported” upcoming peace talks in the Kazakh capital Astana.