Following a meeting between US Secretary of State John Kerry and his Arab counterparts in Jeddah, the participating countries released a statement on Thursday, saying they would “do their share in the comprehensive fight” against the Islamic State group.
In addition to Saudi Arabia, the other Arab states present were Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates. Although Turkey did not join in the statement but said it will participate in the fight against the IS.
In the final statement, the 10 countries and Washington declared their “shared commitment to stand united against the threat posed by all terrorism, including the so-called Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant”.
According to the statement their fight will include “stopping the flow of foreign fighters through neighbouring countries, countering financing of ISIL and other violent extremists, repudiating their hateful ideology, ending impunity and bringing perpetrators to justice”.
It will also include “contributing to humanitarian relief efforts, assisting with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of communities brutalised by ISIL, supporting states that face the most acute ISIL threat”.
Support for IS
Meanwhile, in an interview given to journalist Abdel Bari Atwan, Sheikh Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, described as “the most influential living jihadi ideologue” said that, given the choice between supporting US military intervention and the “Islamic state”, he will choose the latter, and also added that he’ll urge others to do the same.
Sheikh al-Maqdisi had denounced the “Islamic state”, on doctrinal grounds, when Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi had declared his ‘Khilafah’, with the supporters of IS going so far, as calling him an “apostate”.
Although the US has the largest striking force in history, however, question remains, given its past debacles in Iraq and Afghanistan, what this new intervention will bring forth. With US troops already on ground in Kurdistan in northern Iraq, many groups, which had earlier fought IS, would be willing to join forces, to fight the Americans, who they have historical loggerheads with.
Many believe if there is one thing, this renewed intervention will achieve, it is more support for IS.