United States and allies form coalition to fight ISIS

  • Yashwant Raj, Hindustan Times, Washington
  • Updated: Sep 18, 2014 11:21 IST

The United States and allies on Thursday announced the formation of an international coalition to fight ISIS, with the goal of destroying it, and not merely containing it.

“We and the ministers agreed here today that there is no time to waste in building a broad international coalition to degrade and, ultimately, to destroy the threat posed by ISIL (an alternate acronym for ISIS),” US secretaries John Kerry and Chuck Hagel said in a joint statement after a meeting with nine other countries on the sidelines of the NATO summit in Wales.

The other nine were Australia, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, Turkey and the United Kingdom.

The coalition will coordinate efforts with following aims: military support to our Iraqi partners; stopping the flow of foreign fighters; countering ISIS's financing and funding; addressing humanitarian crises; and de-legitimizing ISIL's ideology.

Critical to whole effort, the statement said, would be the formation of an inclusive government in Iraq, which, it was hoped,“can be completed over the coming days”.

But the coalition won’t deploy troops. “I think that’s a redline for everybody here, no boots on the ground,” said secretary Kerry in remarks at the start of the meeting.

And the aim, he made clear was ISIS’s destruction. “There is no contain policy for ISIL,” Kerry said, adding that the US has a strategy for tackling the outfit “contrary to what you sort of heard in the politics of our country”.

The reference was to President Barack Obama’s statement that the US doesn’t have a strategy yet, a remark that, critics said, made the administration look under-prepared and confused.

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