Twelve countries in the US-led coalition are targeting ISIL fighters across Syria and Iraq. But the vast majority are being done by US fighters and drones.

As of November 30, the US Defence Department says more than 3,000 munitions have been dropped on ISIL fighters.

On Wednesday, the US secretary of state met with foreign ministers of around 60 coalition members in Brussels.

John Kerry said the battle against ISIL was indeed having an effect on the ground:

"The roughly 1,000 coalition air missions we have flown have reduced ISIL's leadership and inflicted damage on its logistical and operational capabilities. ISIL's momentum in Iraq had dissipated and Iraqi forces had retaken territory around Mosul and in Tikrit and had expanded security around some oil refineries. In northern and western Iraq, Kurdish troops are battling Islamic State, while Sunni tribal fighters are beginning to come on board.

"In Syria, Islamic State command facilities had been destroyed, oil infrastructure damaged and a siege of the border town of Kobane blocked. It is much harder now than when we started for ISIL to assemble forces in strength, to travel in convoys and to launch concerted attacks. No large ISIL unit can move forward aggressively without worrying what will come down on it from the skies."

But questions remain about the so-called end game: How long will it take to defeat ISIL, will coalition boots on the ground be required, and what will become of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad if and when ISIL is defeated?

Presenter:

Mike Hanna

Guests: 

Emad Abshenass -  political analyst and editor-in-chief of the Iran Diplomat 

Fawaz Gerges - chair of contemporary middle eastern politics and International relations at the London School of Economics

Ryan Evans - founder and editor-in-chief of the online debate and analysis platform War on the Rocks

 

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Source: Al Jazeera