The Associated Press has learned that U.S. Arab allies Egypt, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Kuwait are discussing the creation of a military pact against Islamic militants, with the possibility of a joint force to intervene around the Middle East.

Four Egyptian military officials have confirmed the talks to The Associated Press. They say the alliance would be separate from the U.S.-led air campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

The alliance, they said, could intervene in other extremist hot-spots: Libya, where militants have taken over several cities, and Yemen, where Shiite rebels have seized control of the capital. The officials spoke on condition of anonymity because the talks are secret.