Monday, 15 September 2014

Arab States Agree On Air Strikes Against IS

Several Arab countries have offered to take part in air strikes against Islamic State (IS) militants in Iraq, US officials say.
But any action is subject to approval from the Iraqi government, they add.

US Secretary of State John Kerry says he is “extremely encouraged” by promises of military assistance to tackle the extremist group.
He spoke in Paris after a whirlwind tour of the Middle East trying to drum up support for action against IS.

France is due to host an international conference on Monday about Iraqi security and tackling IS.
On Saturday, the militant group released a video showing the beheading of UK hostage and aid worker David Haines. The group has threatened to kill a second Briton, Alan Henning, who also appeared in the video.

“You cannot fight terrorism when you collaborate with those who created these terror groups including in Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Turkey and others,” Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad told me.

Those countries deny they’ve ever backed Islamic State. But Qatar and Saudi Arabia have provided weapons to Sunni rebel groups, some of whose members have moved to Islamic State.

Turkey has let Sunni fighters, including jihadists from al-Qaeda and IS across its border into Syria.
Mr Mekdad said that as well as Syria an effective coalition would also have to include Russia and Iran: the Assad regime’s key allies.

He repeated Syria’s view that any air strikes on its territory without its permission would be an act of war, a violation of the UN charter and a disaster not just for Syria but for the region.

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