Middle East News

U.S. Seeks Assistance From Egypt, Arab States to Thwart ISIS Threat

As President Barack Obama declared war against the Islamic State, the United States is now slowly taking steps to form a broad coalition against the ISIS militants.

Secretary of State John Kerry is currently in the Middle East to conduct talks with several countries in the region, particularly Egypt, which holds a key position in the conflict and is regarded as the intellectual center of the Arab world.

Kerry, who is in Cairo over the weekend to meet leaders of 10 Arab states, received broad assurances but no public commitment from Egypt on how to combat the increasing threat of ISIS according to The New York Times.

“Egypt believes it is very important for the world to continue their efforts strongly to fight this extremism,” said Egyptian Foreign Minister Sameh Shoukry after the meeting with Kerry on Saturday.

Shoukry declined to specify the efforts that Egypt would provide to the US fight against ISIS, saying they also have to confront Islamist militants at home and neighboring country of Libya.

Kerry, however, has already visited Baghdad; Amman, Jordan; and Ankara, Turkey; and attended an emergency meeting of regional governments in Jidda, Saudi Arabia, wherein Arab nations backed a coordinated military and political campaign against ISIS.

Saudi Arabia, specifically, vowed to allow the training of Syrian rebel forces opposed to ISIS at bases in its territory. However, no country has publicly detailed yet what military support it might provide.

But Turkey, a major NATO member and a neighboring country of Syria, has refused to open its air bases to American troops because at least 49 Turks are currently being held captive by the militants since the attack on Mosul Dam in Irbil, Iraq last June.

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