Updated: September 23, 2014 9:48:38 pm
President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the participation of a group of Arab states in US-led airstrikes on Islamic State targets in Syria shows that America is not alone in combating the dreaded extremist group.
“Last night on my orders, America’s armed forces began strikes against ISIL targets in Syria,” Obama told reporters before leaving for New York to attend the UN General Assembly.
“We were joined in this action by our friends and partners: Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain, and Qatar. America’s proud to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with these nations on behalf of our common security,” Obama said.
“Earlier this month, I outlined for the American people our strategy to confront the threat posed by the terrorist group known as ISIL. I made clear that as part of this campaign, the United States would take action against targets in both Iraq and Syria so that these terrorists can’t find safe haven anywhere,” he said.
“I also made clear that American would act as part of a broad coalition, and that’s exactly what we’ve done. The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America’s fight alone.
“Above all, the people and governments of the Middle East are rejecting ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) and standing up for the peace and security that the people of the region and the world deserve,” he asserted.
Islamic State has taken large swaths of land in Iraq and Syria where it wants to establish Islamic caliphate. The ISIL militants have executed two American journalists and a British aid worker in Syria, prompting the West to join hands to combat the terror group.
Obama said over 40 nations have offered to help in this comprehensive effort to confront this terrorist threat to take out terrorist targets, to train and equip Iraqi and Syrian opposition fighters who are going up against ISIL on the ground, to cut off ISIL’s financing, to counter its hateful ideology, and to stop the flow of fighters into and out of the region.
“We also took strikes to disrupt plotting against the United States and our allies by seasoned al-Qaeda operatives in Syria who are known as the Khorasan group. And once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people,” Obama said.
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