Thursday 19th October 2017

Kerry Heads to Mideast for Talks on Islamic State

September 10, 2014 - Written by editor24

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry is headed to the Middle East for talks on coordinating the fight against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.

Ahead of his trip, Kerry said the U.S. is trying to form a broad global coalition to “confront, degrade and ultimately defeat” the extremist group.

Those efforts will likely be the focus of Kerry’s talks Wednesday in Jordan as well as a meeting of regional foreign ministers in Saudi Arabia on Thursday.

Kerry’s talks come ahead of a Wednesday speech in which President Barack Obama will lay out his strategy to deal with the extremist group, which controls parts of Iraq and Syria.

White House officials have given no specifics on what Obama plans to say. The president has already ruled out sending U.S. forces back into Iraq.

On Tuesday the president briefed Democratic and Republican leaders from both houses of Congress on his plan.

The United States has already carried out 153 airstrikes on Islamic State targets inside Iraq, and U.S. officials have discussed the possibility of expanding that campaign.

From Jeddah, Kerry will head to Paris, where officials say he will consult with “key partners and allies on how to further support the security and stability of the Iraqi government.”

The U.S. hopes the new government in Baghdad can unite Iraq, unlike its previous leaders, who were blamed for marginalizing the Sunni minority and helping give rise to extremists.

Kerry says nearly every nation on Earth has a role in wiping out the Islamic State, including taking up arms, sending humanitarian aid to Islamic State’s victims, and working to cut off the group’s funding.

He said other assistance will involve preventing the flow of foreign fighters and counteracting propaganda.

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