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Tags: ISIS | airstrikes | war on terrorism

Arab Countries Offer to Strike ISIS by Air

By    |   Monday, 15 September 2014 01:14 PM


The Obama administration has said that a number of Arab countries have committed to joining the airstrikes against the Islamic State (ISIS), but it has stopped short of naming them, The New York Times reported.

Officials have said, however, that a sustained and coordinated campaign may take time to get underway due to the need to stabilize, train, and equip Iraqi forces, and Kurdish and Syrian rebels on the ground.

"This isn't going to be 'shock and awe' with hundreds of airstrikes," one official told the Times, referring to the March 2003 attack on Baghdad during the Iraq war. "We don't want this to look like an American war."

Secretary of State John Kerry declined to elaborate on which states had offered to contribute to the air offensive.

Officials told the Times that while several Arab allies offered to do airstrikes, other may participate in other ways, such as by flying weapons to ground forces, conducting intelligence flights, or providing logistical support.

The United Arab Emirates and Qatar were named by the Times as possible contributors, but coordination with Iran and the Syrian government has been ruled out. Officials also emphasized that the new Iraqi government would need to approve all of those who might be involved.

Meanwhile, the White House on Sunday took steps to be more specific about what President Barack Obama meant when setting out his strategy to "degrade and destroy" the militant group.

"Success looks like an ISIL that no longer threatens our friends in the region, no longer threatens the United States, an ISIL that can't accumulate followers or threaten Muslims in Syria, Iraq or otherwise," Denis McDonough, the president's chief of staff, said during an interview on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Debate is also continuing about whether the United States is "at war" with ISIS.

McDonough referred to the conflict as a war as opposed to a counterterrorism initiative, and both the White House and the Pentagon spokesman characterized it as such last week.

Kerry however attempted to give a more nuanced explanation.

"Originally this is not a war," Kerry said on CBS's "Face the Nation" on Sunday. "This is not combat troops on the ground. It's not hundreds of thousands of people," he said referring to the Iraq war.

He compared it to a "war with al-Qaida and its affiliates," and said that "in the same context" the United States was "at war with ISIL."


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The Obama administration has said that a number of Arab countries have committed to joining the airstrikes against the Islamic State, but it has stopped short of naming them.
ISIS, airstrikes, war on terrorism
402
2014-14-15
Monday, 15 September 2014 01:14 PM
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