US: Time to expand the international coalition against IS

MUNICH, Germany (AP) — The top Pentagon official says he foresees growing the international coalition that has been combatting the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

Pat Shanahan, the acting secretary of defense, made his comment on Friday at the conclusion of a meeting in Munich of key members of the U.S.-led coalition.

Shanahan said that in Syria, IS has lost most of its leadership and resources — though he didn’t say it’s lost 100 percent of its territory.

IS militants are holed up in the last sliver of land in eastern Syria as U.S.-backed forces are closing in.

Shanahan says he envisions an “even bigger and stronger” coalition with a focus on broader threat posed by IS, including in Afghanistan and the Philippines. He said there’re currently 79 countries in the coalition.