Speaking to reporters at a news conference in Brussels, Stoltenberg said NATO leaders Thursday will adopt a new action plan to step up the fight against terrorism, which will include NATO’s membership in the global coalition against Daesh.

"This will send a strong political message of NATO’s commitment to the fight against terrorism. And improve coordination within the coalition. But it does not mean that NATO will engage in combat operations,” he said.

While NATO as a bloc did not previously join the anti-Daesh coalition, all 28 of its member states were individual members of the coalition formed in 2014.

Stoltenberg said NATO’s membership in the coalition will provide a better platform for coordinating the efforts of NATO and the coalition members in fight Daesh.

"Today we will decide to expand our support to the coalition. With more AWACS flight-time, more information-sharing, and air-to-air refueling,” he said, adding that NATO will also enhance intelligence-sharing in the fight against terrorism.

“We will agree to establish a new terrorism intelligence cell here at NATO headquarters. Improving how we share intelligence, including on foreign fighters. And we will decide to appoint a coordinator to oversee NATO’s efforts in the fight against terrorism,” he said.

Local forces

Stoltenberg also signaled that NATO may play a stronger role in the training of local forces fighting Daesh.

"Training local forces is one of the best weapons in the fight against terrorism. We are already training Iraqi forces,” he said.

Leaders from 28 NATO member states are gathering in Brussels today for a summit at NATO’s new headquarters, which will focus on the fight against terrorism and fair burden-sharing among the allies.

U.S. President Donald Trump, who earlier described NATO as “obsolete” and criticized it for failing to address terrorism, is attending his first NATO summit.

He is expected to renew calls for NATO allies such as Germany to boost their military spending to meet NATO’s agreed goal of spending 2 percent of their GDP on defense.

Besides Trump, British Prime Minister Theresa May and France’s new President Emmanuel Macron will attend a NATO leaders’ summit for the first time.

Anadolu Agency