US Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for a “global coalition” to respond to the threat posed by the rise of the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL).
“What’s needed to confront [the Islamic State’s] nihilistic vision and genocidal agenda is a global coalition using political, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement and intelligence tools to support military force,” Kerry wrote in a New York Times column.
Several world leaders have issued warnings regarding the ISIL threat, with King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia and David Cameron of the UK saying that it’s a matter of time before ISIL terror spreads to other parts of the world.
“If we ignore them, I am sure they will reach Europe in a month and America in another month,” the King was quoted as saying by the Asharq Al-Awsat publication.
“I ask you to convey this message to your leaders… Terrorism at this time is an evil force that must be fought with wisdom and speed,” he said. “And if neglected I’m sure after a month it will arrive in Europe and a month after that in America.”
Members of the Islamic State executing captured Iraqi military personnel (photo: Reuters)
Kerry has joined his voice with others saying that the ISIL threat will not be contained to the Middle East indefinitely.
“In a polarized region and a complicated world, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria presents a unifying threat to a broad array of countries, including the United States. What’s needed to confront its nihilistic vision and genocidal agenda is a global coalition using political, humanitarian, economic, law enforcement and intelligence tools to support military force,” he wrote in the New York Times piece.
Kerry continued by saying that the global effort must be led by the US, although responding with airstrikes will not be enough.
“Airstrikes alone won’t defeat this enemy. A much fuller response is demanded from the world. We need to support Iraqi forces and the moderate Syrian opposition, who are facing ISIS on the front lines. We need to disrupt and degrade ISIS’ capabilities and counter its extremist message in the media. And we need to strengthen our own defenses and cooperation in protecting our people.”
A masked Islamic State militant holding a knife speaks next to US journalist James Foley at an unknown location in this still image from an undated video posted on a social media website (photo: Reuters)