Europe

World diplomats seek post-battle plan for IS bastion Mosul

  • Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces advance near Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

    Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces advance near Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces advance towards the city of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

    Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces advance towards the city of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

  • Members of Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces pose for a photo as they advance towards the city of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)

    Members of Iraq's elite counterterrorism forces pose for a photo as they advance towards the city of Mosul, Iraq, Thursday, Oct. 20, 2016. Iraqi special forces charged into the Mosul battle Thursday with a pre-dawn advance on a nearby town held by the Islamic State group, a key part of a multi-pronged assault on eastern approaches to the besieged city. (AP Photo/Khalid Mohammed)  (The Associated Press)

Diplomats from the U.S., Iraq and some 20 other countries are meeting to make a stabilization plan for Mosul, as the international military operation to free the Iraqi city from Islamic State extremists intensifies.

French President Francois Hollande is hosting Thursday's talks in Paris, aimed at coming up with a plan to protect civilians, distribute aid and address questions about governing areas newly liberated from IS.

The offensive for Mosul — Iraq's second-largest city and a bastion for IS — is expected to take weeks, if not months, and some fear it could unleash sectarian tensions.

French authorities believe attacks on French soil in recent years have been plotted from IS strongholds in Syria and Iraq. French warplanes and artillery are involved in the multi-pronged battle for Mosul.