The United States announced that it has assembled a coalition to fight the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the radical terrorist group that has murdered two American journalists and draws fighters from around the world.
Members of the coalition, which includes Australia, Britain, Canada, Denmark, France, Germany, Italy, Poland, and Turkey, met during the NATO summit in Wales about a two-part approach for defeating ISIS. Foreign involvement would mostly consist of air strikes and support for local forces on the ground. Ground forces are a “red line” for coalition members.
Turkey, one of the members of the coalition, unfortunately shares a border with Syria that has become a hot spot for extremists looking to join with ISIS. Online instruction manuals tell aspiring militants to get to Turkey and then cross into ISIS-controlled territory.
U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that there’s “no containment policy for ISIL,” using an alternate name for the terrorist group. “They’re an ambitious, avowed, genocidal, territorial-grabbing, caliphate-desiring quasi state with an irregular army, and leaving them in some capacity intact anywhere would leave a cancer in place that will ultimately come back to haunt us.”
The U.S. has already been using air strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq, most notably to help free the Mosul Dam and to aid in the rescue of the Yazidis, a religious minority considered persecuted by ISIS. It has also begun to consider strikes in neighboring Syria, where ISIS holds a great deal of territory, but has encountered resistance from the struggling government. A Syrian leader warned that “any strike which is not coordinated with the government will be considered as aggression.”