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Kerry 'Absolutely Convinced' IS Will Be Defeated


U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry (L) meets with Crown Prince Mohammed bin Zayed Al Nahyan at the Mina Palace in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, Nov. 23, 2015.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said Tuesday there is a united front against the Islamic State (IS) group and that he is "absolutely convinced" the militants will be defeated.

Speaking to NBC's "Today Show" during a visit to the United Arab Emirates, Kerry said there is a strategy in place and that the United States, which is leading a coalition of airstrikes against IS, is escalating its efforts.

He also said terrorists who carried out attacks in France, Lebanon and Egypt were attracted by what the group's fighters are doing in Iraq and Syria, and that he expects coalition attacks in those two countries to increase in the coming days.

Kerry is meeting with Crown Prince Sheikh Mohammed Bin Zayed Al Nahyan in Abu Dhabi on the first leg of a trip that will also include a stop in Israel.

The UAE has been a part of a renewed effort by multiple countries to push for a political resolution to the situation in Syria, where fighting has killed more than 250,000 people since March 2011.

The most recent meetings involving the U.S. and other world powers in Vienna ended November 13 with a pledge to try to bring the Syrian government and opposition together for U.N.-mediated talks by January. Two previous rounds of peace talks in early 2014 ended with no real progress.

UAE jets have also conducted airstrikes as part of the U.S.-led coalition in Syria targeting IS militants who have controlled parts of that country and Iraq for more than a year.

Kerry's visit to Israel will be his first in more than a year, and will involve meetings in both Jerusalem with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and in Ramallah with Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas.

He is expected to discuss measures that could reduce the recent spike in Israeli-Palestinian tensions and urge both sides to exercise restraint.

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