Islamic State must be stopped: Kerry

Arab World Materials 12 September 2014 11:34 (UTC +04:00)
Islamic State must be stopped: Kerry
Islamic State must be stopped: Kerry

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry on Thursday said that ten Arab nations that are joining in a U.S.-led international coalition against the militant Islamic State movement were pivotal in this fight Anadolu Agency reported

"Every single country represented here today, including - especially Iraq, will be a critical part of the effort to destroy the Islamic State's ability to terrorize," Kerry said in the western Saudi city of Jeddah.

The U.S. top diplomat arrived in Jeddah, following visits to Iraq and Jordan. Other Arab and foreign capitals are on his itinerary in an American effort to form a major international coalition against the militant organization that has overrun vast territories in both Iraq and Syria and has plans to push into more states in the region.

Kerry said in Jeddah following a meeting with the foreign ministers of ten Arab states that the Islamic State is an organization that knows no bounds.

"It is an organization that rapes and brutalizes women and sells even young girls as brides," the U.S. Secretary of State said. "They viciously and indiscriminately attack groups of all ethnicities, all sects, any religion, including vulnerable minorities like Christians and Yezidis," he added.

He said the organization does all this to these people only because they are not them, because they represent something different.

He said the members of the Islamic State brutally murder innocent people, including most recently two Americans, whom they beheaded for the world to see in recent weeks.

"Their [Islamic State] barbarity literally knows no limits and they have to be stopped," Kerry told the media following the meeting.

-Poignant memories-

Ironically enough, the U.S. was declaring some details of its bid to form the international coalition against terrorism and the Islamic State on the very day when passenger planes hit into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York in 2011, killing hundreds of innocent Americans.

Kerry said the day was a particularly poignant one for the Jeddah meeting.

He added that 13 years after the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the devastating consequences of extremist hate remained fresh in the minds of all Americans and so many friends and allies of the U.S. around the world.

"Those consequences are felt everyday here in the Middle East, where extremist ideology in groups like the Islamic State continue to tear apart communities, restrain growth, stop progress, pursue violence, and repress people, and ignore and oppose any sort of rule of law," Kerry said.

He said the U.S. strategy against the militant movement is centered in a global coalition of nations and that Arab countries attending Jeddah's meeting would play a critical role in that coalition - the leading role across all lines of effort.

He said this work would include military support; humanitarian aid, and work to stop the flow of illegal funds and foreign fighters, which the Islamic State requires in order to thrive.

The U.S. Secretary of State added that this work would also include efforts to repudiate once and for all the dangerous, the offensive, the insulting distortion of Islam that the militant movement's propaganda attempts to spread throughout the region and the world.

"The Islamic State attempts to tell people that what they're doing is somehow based on their notion of Islam and their view of religion," Kerry said.

"No religion, certainly not a peaceful, great religion like Islam, ever condones the kinds of activities that the Islamic State engages in," he added

Kerry vows anti IS coalition to broaden and deepen

In a press conference after his meeting in the Iraqi capital Baghdad, he said "The coalition..., I assure you, will continue to grow and deepen in the days ahead, including at the UN General Assembly in New York later this month."

Kerry said around 40 other countries along with the U.S. are already contributing military, humanitarian and other assistance to aid the international campaign against the Islamic State.

He maintained that the strategy President Barack Obama will lay out on the wider region is broad-based and comprehensive, not just limited with air bombardment or direct military assistance.

The U.S. top diplomat stressed that the strategy will also include efforts to strengthen Iraqi security forces on the ground.

"It will be comprehensive with Iraqi forces on the ground in Iraq with an army that will be reconstituted and trained and worked," he said.

U.S. forces have conducted more than 100 strikes on IS targets in Iraq and the Obama administration has sent more than 1,000 military personnel to protect American facilities and to advise Iraqi and Kurdish forces on the ground.

Washington has been in search of a broad international coalition to deal with the IS threat as Obama ruled out American boots on the ground from the very beginning of the IS upsurge in Iraq.

The new Iraqi government was officially formed after it received a vote of confidence in the Iraqi parliament on Monday. The new government, which includes Sunni, Kurdish and Shiites deputies, was approved by a vote of 177 - 280.