Arab States Pledge Some Military Help in ISIS Fight

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Arab allies of the United States agreed Thursday to join the American military campaign against ISIS “as appropriate,” and they pledged to work to stop the flow of money and foreign fighters to the militants.

The pledge came after meetings between Secretary of State John Kerry and the allies in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia. A day earlier, President Barack Obama vowed to build an international coalition to defeat ISIS — diplomacy that promises to be tricky.

Kerry, at a press conference, praised the cooperation and said of ISIS: “Their barbarity literally knows no limits, and they have to be stopped.”

His Saudi counterpart, Saud al-Faisal, batted away a question about Saudi disappointment with Obama’s decision not to strike the regime of Syrian leader Bashar Assad last year. “I only see agreement,” al-Faisal said. “I don’t see disagreement. I see the agreement we have about the present situation.”

In a joint statement with the United States, the allies, including Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates, said:

The participating states agreed to do their share in the comprehensive fight against ISIL, including: stopping the flow of foreign fighters through neighboring countries, countering financing of ISIL and other violent extremists, repudiating their hateful ideology, ending impunity and bringing perpetrators to justice, contributing to humanitarian relief efforts, assisting with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of communities brutalized by ISIL, supporting states that face the most acute ISIL threat, and, as appropriate, joining in the many aspects of a coordinated military campaign against ISIL.

ISIL is an alternative name for ISIS.

Turkey attended the meeting but did not sign the agreement. After Saudi Arabia, Kerry will travel to Ankara on to meet with Turkish leaders, a spokeswoman said.



— Erin McClam