Coalition nations, particularly in Europe, are bracing for a possible wave of battle-hardened militants returning home.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis is one of the senior leaders attending the anti-Daesh summit in Denmark.
Pentagon chief Jim Mattis is one of the senior leaders attending the anti-Daesh summit in Denmark.

The military action against Daesh will continue for some time but the coalition fighting it is upbeat about the progress and quickening momentum of the fight.

After months of street-by-street combat, Daesh has lost control of most of its stronghold in Mosul, Iraq, and has become largely isolated in their Syrian bastion of Raqqa.

Key members of the US-led coalition fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria will meet in Copenhagen on Tuesday to assess the campaign's next steps as the self-proclaimed "caliphate" of the militants collapses.

Pentagon chief Jim Mattis and his Danish counterpart Claus Hjort Frederiksen are among the senior leaders from 15 countries attending Tuesday's summit.

"We're going to look to the future, determine what more is needed, if anything," Mattis told reporters ahead of his arrival in Denmark.

Several countries are keeping an eye on the region as Daesh-held territory diminishes. Coalition nations, particularly in Europe, are bracing for a possible wave of battle-hardened militants returning home.

A senior US administration official said Interpol, the international law enforcement agency, has identified 14,000 foreign militants who have travelled to Syria and are still alive.

Interpol is now part of the anti-Daesh coalition, becoming the alliance's 68th member.

The campaign against Daesh that began in autumn 2014 has seen the Iraqi security forces backed by coalition forces reverse humiliating losses and recapture several key cities of Ramadi and Fallujah.

Iraq's second city Mosul is now back under Iraqi control, though Daesh continues to hold the west side of the Old City.

US President Donald Trump campaigned on a pledge to destroy Daesh and US military leaders credit Trump with giving them greater authority, enabling a quick pace of operations. But critics say the additional strikes have accelerated the rate of civilian deaths.

The militants have rigged explosives to homes, buildings, cupboard doors, and clearing these bombs and mines is a massive undertaking.

Source: TRTWorld and agencies