US Secretary of State John Kerry called Tuesday for no let up in international efforts against Islamic State militias in Syria and Iraq, amid concerns that a third battlefront against the terrorist group may open in Libya.

The radical Islamist group has made inroads in the north African country. Last week, Italian Defence Minister Roberta Pinotti said her country was preparing militarily to counter that threat together with the United States, France and Britain.

There is a need "to push ahead with a strategy that we have learned will work, and to do so relentlessly, giving Daesh no time to regroup, no place to run, no safe havens in which to hide," Kerry said, using an Arabic acronym for the group.

Speaking at a meeting in Rome of the US-led coalition against the Islamic State, Kerry said it had conducted "almost 10,000 airstrikes," killing "more than 90 mid-level or high-level leaders of Daesh since last May."

Since the coalition was launched in late 2014, the Islamic State has lost 40 per cent of territory in Iraq and about 30 per cent in Syria, and "last week" news emerged that it had to cut pay to their militias by 50 per cent, the top US diplomat reported.

However, victory is not yet assured, "and we have seen Daesh playing a game of metastasizing out to other countries – particularly Libya," Kerry said.

Two rival Libyan governments agreed to a UN peace deal in December, but agreement on the composition of a joint cabinet has since proved elusive. Kerry and Italian his Italian counterpart, Paolo Gentiloni, urged Libyans to overcome the deadlock within the next two weeks.

"In Libya, we're on the brink of getting a government of national unity," Kerry said, predicting that will stop the terrorist ascendancy. "The last thing in the world you want is a false caliphate with access to billions of dollars of oil revenue."

At the end of Kerry and Gentiloni's joint press conference, a woman wearing a veil heckled them and was taken away by police. According to Italian news agencies, she told Kerry: "You are the ones who created the Islamic State!"

Meanwhile, French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius dismissed national press reports that Paris would engage militarily in Libya, deeming it "out of the question" and calling for international sanctions against Libyan individuals blocking government formation talks.

The Le Figaro daily, citing unnamed sources, earlier said "one of the scenarios envisages the use of a combination of special forces, airstrikes and artillery supported by Libyan ground forces." It said any campaign would be less extensive than the one in Syria and Iraq.

Germany's Frank-Walter Steinmeier stressed the need to defend territorial gains in Iraq. "It is important not only to celebrate the military victories but also to stabilize the liberated territories," he said.

Kerry said he had urged allies to contribute to a Iraqi stabilization fund, while Gentiloni announced that Italian company Trevi had been awarded a contract to repair the Mosul dam. Rome is planning to send 450 troops to defend the key piece of infrastucture during the works.

"We haven't seen a catastrophe like this since World War II," Kerry said of the Syrian crisis, urging parties at ongoing peace talks in Geneva to agree to an immediate halt to indiscriminate violence, as well as an end to sieges and free access for humanitarian aid.

The Rome talks were attended by 23 nations, including key Middle East actors such as Egypt, Saudi Arabia and Turkey, plus the European Union and the United Nations. Overall, the coalition counts 66 members, including Afghanistan who joined it on Monday.

Latest news

Syrian opposition rules out future role for President al-Assad

The Syrian opposition said Friday it would not accept any role for President Bashar al-Assad in the future of the war-torn country, reacting to a recent US shift saying that removing al-Assad is no longer a priority for Washington.

Russian Army integrates breakaway forces of Georgian province

Parts of the small fighting forces of the Georgian breakaway province of South Ossetia have been placed under Russian military control, Russian Defence Minister Sergei Shoigu said on Friday.

Czech Republic's Pilsner Urquell beer is now Japanese

Japanese brewing company Asahi completed its takeover of the Czech brewery Pilsner Urquell on Friday, Asahi said in a statement.

Judge approves 25-million-dollar settlement of Trump University case

A US district judge on Friday approved a 25-million-dollar settlement of lawsuits and state fraud allegations against Trump University, the US president's now-defunct business venture.

Former Thai premier Thaksin to junta on reconciliation: 'Cut me out'

Former Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra on Friday announced that he is not interested in the junta-led reconciliation process, three days after the junta handed him a half-a-billion-dollar tax bill for his past business deal.

Dalic: We welcome possible deal between Agrokor and banks

The government welcomes the possibility of an agreement being concluded between the Agrokor food company and creditor banks, and the bill on vitally important companies is not a fallback plan but the result of the government's care for the overall economic and financial stability of Croatia, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Economy Martina Dalic told a press conference in Zagreb on Friday.

Croatia, China sign action plan for cooperation in agriculture

The Croatian and Chinese ministries of agriculture on Friday signed an action plan for cooperation in the field of agriculture for the period 2017-2018, the Croatian ministry said in a statement.

ZSE indices up, Agrokor shares in focus of investor interest

The Zagreb Stock Exchange (ZSE) indices on Friday rose by more than 1.8%, with stocks of the Agrokor food and retail concern being in the focus of investor interest again.

Berlin police defend handling of Berlin market attacker

Berlin police defended themselves on Friday against accusations that they stopped surveillance on Berlin Christmas market attacker despite knowing in June 2016 he was dangerous.

Croatia, creditors tailor emergency measures to save tottering giant

Croatia's tottering retail and food giant Agrokor reached an agreement with its creditors, putting its debts standby and allowing it to continue working during emergency restructuring, the Croatian branch of Austria's Erste Bank said Friday.

Agrokor's creditors say standstill agreement to go into force today

A standstill agreement regarding the Agrokor concern's existing financial obligations to banks will take effect on Friday, additional capital will be injected into the concern in the coming days and the concern will be actively restructured, which includes a change of its management, it was said on Friday after a meeting between Agrokor's suppliers and creditor banks.

Palestinians, UN slam Israel's new settlement plan

Palestinians, Israeli activists and the UN lambasted the government of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday, a day after it gave the go-ahead for the first new West Bank settlement in a quarter of a century.

South Sudan rebels release three abducted foreign oil workers

South Sudanese rebels have released three foreign engineers they abducted in early March in the oil-rich Upper Nile region, Foreign Affairs Ministry official Mawein Makol Arik said on Friday.

Turkish opposition: Imprisoned party chief has gone on hunger strike

The head of Turkey's pro-Kurdish opposition party has launched a hunger strike from prison.

European leagues threaten Champions League schedule clashes

The European Professional Football Leagues (EPFL) on Friday threatened schedule clashes on Champions League matchdays in an ongoing dispute with the governing body UEFA.

Danish court revokes citizenship of IS volunteer

A Danish appellate court on Friday stripped a man of his Danish citizenship for volunteering to fight for the extremist Islamic State in Syria.

Banks and Agrokor agree on key elements of standstill agreement

Member banks of the coordinating committee of financial creditors and representatives of the Agrokor food company have in principle agreed on key elements of a standstill agreement, which is expected to be signed later today, announcing changes in the company's management team, Erste Bank said in a statement on Friday afternoon.

Syrian man on trial in Sweden; mosque attack labelled terrorism

A Syrian man went on trial Friday in the southern Swedish city of Malmo, charged with terrorism and arson after an attack last year on a building used as an assembly hall by Shiite Muslims.