U.K. Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has praised Turkey’s efforts to stop the flow of foreign fighters traveling to join ISIL in Iraq and Syria.
Hammond joined Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi and U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday in a press conference in London after a broad-based meeting on how to combat the terrorist group.
Earlier on Wednesday, Turkish Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoglu warned that the flow of fighters was "unstoppable" due to the sheer length of the border between Turkey and Syria, which extends over 800 kilometers (497 miles).
“Turkey is doing a fantastic job of intercepting people who are seeking to get across the border,” Hammond said, brushing off Davutoglu’s “self-effacing” remarks.
On fighting ISIL, Hammond said the 60-member international coalition was focusing on addressing the “underlying narrative” of ISIL, targeting its financing, disrupting the flow of foreign fighters and dealing with the humanitarian crisis that has resulted.
"In each case, we talked about what more we can do together to achieve our objectives in these areas,” he said.
Iraqi Prime Minister Abadi said his government sought and was glad to get more commitment in supporting Baghdad’s efforts against the extremist group that has torn through the country.
Kerry thanked Abadi for his “forceful” and “important” leadership and said that ISIL was not a Syrian or Iraqi problem, but a global one.
“It demands a coordinated, comprehensive and enduring global response,” Kerry added.
The U.S.-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes against ISIL positions for nearly five months. Kerry said the strikes were effective in stopping ISIL’s advance and even forcing a pushback in some regions.
Iraq has been in throes of conflict since ISIL took hold of the country’s second-largest city, Mosul, in June 2014.
Since then, the group has cemented its control over several cities and regions across Iraq and Syria.