The White House is claiming that Arab nations have offered to join alongside America in conducting airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq and Syria, though they have not been willing to specifically name the countries.
New York Times reported that Secretary Kerry declined to say which countries offered air support but White House officials say more details could be given later in the week. Secretary Kerry is scheduled to testify before congress Wednesday and Thursday. The unknown Arab nations offering help will also be committing ground troops. During his discussion of ground troops to fight ISIS, he said: “Well we’re not looking to put troops on the ground,” he said. “There are some who have offered to do so, but we are not looking for that at this moment anyway.” Kerry said he expects U.S. regional allies to go after ISIS financially as well as against ISIS’s propaganda machine. During an interview on Sunday, Kerry discussed the possibility of expanding American airstrikes against ISIS in Syria saying that “the United States could “de-conflict” such attacks with the Syrian government but that there would be no formal cooperation or coordination.
White House Chief of Staff Dennis McDonough appeared on CBS’s Face the Nation discussing the fight against ISIS. He said it would be up to regional allies and Syrian fighters to complete the mission. “We’re going to provide our unique capabilities and airstrikes and intelligence and training and then it will be up to the Syrians on that side of the border to finish the job,” said McDonough.
New York Times is reporting that any ground operations would be dependent upon both Iraqi forces as well as Kurdish fighters and moderate Syrian rebels. According to the Times, State Department officials say that Arab nations could participate in non-lethal ways against an air campaign against ISIS, possibly by making reconnaissance flights or by flying arms to Iraqi or Kurdish forces. USA Today is reporting that France has offered to take part in airstrikes against ISIS.
French President Francois Hollande gave opening remarks during the opening of global summit saying, “The terrorist threat is global and the response must be global,” French President Francois Hollande said in opening Monday’s conference. “There is no time to lose.” He also pointed out that several countries attending have probably financially supported ISIS. U.S. forces have carried out almost 200 airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq; ISIS responded by beheading two Americans and one British citizen.