The Defence Secretary Michael Fallon has met with his counterparts in Paris today to discuss the counter-Daesh campaign.
The meeting, also attended by US Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and French Minister of Defence Jean-Yves Le Drian as well as representatives from Australia, Germany, Italy and the Netherlands, covered the Coalition effort to tackle Daesh, how best to exploit further opportunities as the campaign moves into a new phase and options for intensifying the military operation in against Iraq and Syria.
Defence Secretary Michael Fallon said:
We have made strong progress in recent weeks. Now the campaign is moving into a new phase where we aim to systematically dismantle Daesh’s structure and capabilities.
That means striking harder at the head of the snake, with an increased focus on infrastructure, lines of communication and supply routes.
The meeting comes as new figures show that UK air strikes have risen from a monthly average of 29 between May and October last year to more than 80 in December and in January the RAF conducted 31 strikes in the first week alone.
The UK will also deploy HMS St Albans to support the Charles de Gaulle aircraft carrier group. The ship will help patrol the waters of the Gulf, protecting the aircraft carrier as she conducts strike operations. Over the course of her deployment St Albans will perform a similar role for the US carrier Harry S Truman.