MILITARY

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis to discuss war aims in Mideast

  • FILE - In this April 11, 2017 file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pauses during a news conference at the Pentagon. Mattis is looking to the Middle East and North Africa for broader contributions and new ideas to fight Islamic extremism as the Trump administration fleshes out its counterterrorism strategy. His trip to the region this week includes stops with longstanding allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, and new partners like Djibouti.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    FILE - In this April 11, 2017 file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pauses during a news conference at the Pentagon. Mattis is looking to the Middle East and North Africa for broader contributions and new ideas to fight Islamic extremism as the Trump administration fleshes out its counterterrorism strategy. His trip to the region this week includes stops with longstanding allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, and new partners like Djibouti. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)  (The Associated Press)

  • FILE - In this April 11, 2017 file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pauses during a news conference at the Pentagon. Mattis is looking to the Middle East and North Africa for broader contributions and new ideas to fight Islamic extremism as the Trump administration fleshes out its counterterrorism strategy. His trip to the region this week includes stops with longstanding allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, and new partners like Djibouti.  (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)

    FILE - In this April 11, 2017 file photo, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis pauses during a news conference at the Pentagon. Mattis is looking to the Middle East and North Africa for broader contributions and new ideas to fight Islamic extremism as the Trump administration fleshes out its counterterrorism strategy. His trip to the region this week includes stops with longstanding allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, and new partners like Djibouti. (AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster, File)  (The Associated Press)

Defense Secretary Jim Mattis is looking to the Middle East and North Africa for broader contributions and new ideas to fight Islamic extremism as the Trump administration fleshes out its counterterrorism strategy.

His trip to the region this week includes stops with longstanding allies Israel and Saudi Arabia, and new partners like Djibouti.

As the administration enhances its efforts, Mattis has made a point of consulting counterparts around the world. His goals include expanding the American-led coalition against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria, but also combatting al-Qaida. Its Yemen branch is posing particular worry as it uses ungoverned spaces in the Arab world's poorest country to plan attacks on the U.S.

The Pentagon has said Mattis will be discussing ways to "defeat extremist terror organizations."