US wins Arab support for fighting ISIL

12 September 2014

Key Arab allies have promised to "do their share" to fight Islamic State militants. However, NATO member Turkey opted to stay out, an indication of the hurdles the US faced in trying to get hostile front-line on board to work together to defeat a common enemy, reported.

The Arab states' willingness to counter the ISIS, and possibly join military action, came as the CIA doubled its estimate of the number of fighters the group could muster.

Both Republicans and Democrats in Congress supported President Barack Obama's call to combat the militants, a day after he outlined a  campaign that would include expanding airstrikes against the fighters in Iraq, launching strikes against them in Syria for the first time and bolstering the Iraqi military and moderate Syrian rebels to allow them to reclaim territory from the militants.

The 10 Mideast allies pledged support to the strategy to "destroy" the group "wherever it is, including in both Iraq and Syria," after a meeting with US secretary of state John Kerry in the Red Sea coastal city of Jiddah.

Kerry's visit, on the anniversary of the 11 September attacks, was aimed at gauging how much support regional allies were willing to give to the US plan to beat back the Islamic State group, The Boston Globe reported.

Saudi Arabia and other Sunni Arab states agreed to opening more bases for airstrike launches and training Syrian rebels fighters, in a broadening of joint efforts against the Sunni militants, diplomats said yesterday.

The specifics of the effort, however, were not spelt out.

Kerry said after a day of talks with representatives from Persian Gulf nations, along with Iraqi, Egyptian, Jordanian, and Lebanese diplomats, that this was a moment which was one of those rare opportunities in history where leaders making the right choices could actually bend the arc of history in the right direction.

He added the group believed that they would beat back the evil of ISIL, an alternative acronym for the Islamic State.

The US has accused Qatar and Kuwait, both participants in the talks, of not doing enough to stop private donations from their citizens to the militants.

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