Secretary of State John Kerry is calling for a "much fuller response" to fight against brutal Islamist militants in Iraq, and suggested that "airstrikes alone won't defeat this enemy." Kerry — in an op-ed published in The New York Times on Friday — wrote that the Islamic State of Iraq and al-Sham (ISIS) isn't satisfied wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq, and "poses a threat well beyond that region" that could include strikes in the U.S. as well as "anywhere they could manage to travel undetected."
While U.S. airstrikes have "shifted the momentum of the fight" in Iraq, Kerry said, a broad coalition of countries must be formed, with each one playing a unique part in the fight against ISIS. "In this battle, there is a role for almost every country," Kerry wrote. "No decent country can support the horrors perpetrated by ISIS, and no civilized country should shirk its responsibility to help stamp out this disease," he added.
Kerry said that he and Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel will meet with European allies in the coming week to appeal to "the countries that are most directly threatened" for support, and work to enlist a wider swath of assistance from other countries in September. "Extremists are defeated only when responsible nations and their peoples unite to oppose them," Kerry wrote.
— Elisha Fieldstadt