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French, US host defence minister talks on fight against IS

A member of the Syrian pro-government forces sits on a sofa in the strategic town of Salma, following its recapture from rebel fightersThe defence ministers of seven countries leading the battle against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria will meet in Paris on Wednesday to hash out ways to build their coalition and boost its resources. Co-hosted by the French and US defence ministers, Jean-Yves Le Drian and Ash Carter, the meeting will be attended by their Australian, British, Dutch, German and Italian counterparts. Russia, a staunch ally of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, began a campaign of air strikes in support of the regime in late September, targeting IS — but, say critics, more often the moderate opposition.

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