Kerry says world won't permit ISIS havoc

2014-09-10 18:24

Baghdad - Secretary of State John Kerry said on Wednesday that neither the United States nor the rest of the world will stand by and watch the Islamic State militant group spread its evil.

"This is a fight that the Iraqi people must win, but it's also a fight that the rest of the world needs them to win," Kerry told reporters. "It's a fight the United States and the rest of the world needs to support every step of the way."

Kerry was in Baghdad to meet with Iraq's new leaders and pledge US support for eliminating the extremist group and the threat it poses.

He said President Barack Obama would later outline on Wednesday in specific detail what steps the US is prepared to take to defeat the Islamic State (ISIS), which has overrun parts of northern Iraq and Syria.

Kerry did not reveal Obama's plans. But he predicted a coalition of at least 40 nations ultimately will eliminate the Islamic State and said Obama will "lay out with great specificity a broad strategy" to deal with the Islamic State group.

With a new Iraqi government finally in place and a growing Mideast consensus on defeating insurgent threats, Kerry pressed Iraq's Shiite leader to quickly deliver more power to wary Sunnis - or jeopardise any hope of defeating the Islamic State group.

At his news conference after the talks here, Kerry declared now that there is a new, inclusive government in Baghdad, "it's full speed ahead."

Kerry also said the US is also pledging another $48m Wednesday to UN agencies and other humanitarian aid organizations to help ease suffering of 1.8 million people who have been displaced by the Islamic State.

"The United States and the world will simply not stand by and watch as ISIS's evil spreads," he said. "We all know, I think we come to this with great confidence, that ultimately our global coalition will succeed in eliminating the threat from Iraq, from the region and the world."

Kerry landed in the Iraqi capital just two days after newly sworn Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi seated his top government ministers, a crucial step toward restoring stability in a nation where security has spiralled out of control since the beginning of the year. As Kerry and al-Abadi were meeting, two car bombs exploded simultaneously in the southeastern neighbourhood of New Baghdad, killing 13 people.


The trip marks the first high-level US meeting with al-Abadi since he become prime minister, and it aimed to symbolize the Obama administration's support for Iraq nearly three years after US troops left the war-torn country. But it also signalled to al-Abadi, a Shi'ite Muslim, that the US was watching to make sure he gives Iraqi Sunnis more control over their local power structures and security forces, as promised.

Al-Abadi's predecessor, former Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki, for years shut Sunnis out of power and refused to pay tribal militias salaries or give them government jobs - and in turn sowed widespread resentment that Islamic State extremists seized on as a recruiting tool.

Al-Abadi hosted Kerry in the ornate presidential palace where Saddam Hussein once held court, and which the US and coalition officials later used as office space in the years immediately following the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In brief remarks following their meeting, al-Abadi noted that Iraq's violence is largely a spillover from the neighbouring civil war in Syria, where the Islamic State militants have a safe haven.

"Of course, our role is to defend our country, but the international community is responsible to protect Iraq, and protect the whole region," al-Abadi said, speaking in English. "What is happening in Syria is coming across to Iraq. We cannot cross that border - it is an international border. But there is a role for the international community and for the United Nations... and for the United States to act immediately to stop this threat."

Kerry praised the new Iraqi leadership for what he described as its "boldness" in quickly forming a new government and promising to embrace political reforms that would give more authority to Sunnis and resolve a longstanding oil dispute between Baghdad and the semi-autonomous Kurdish government in the nation's north.

"We're very encouraged," Kerry said. He assured al-Abadi that President Barack Obama will outline plans later Wednesday "of exactly what the United States is prepared to do, together with many other countries in a broad coalition, in order to take on this terrorist structure, which is unacceptable by any standard anywhere in the world."

Kerry also met with new Iraqi parliament Speaker Salim al-Jabouri, one of the country's highest-ranking Sunnis, who expressed hope that Iraq will overcome terror threats and establish a vital democracy - two issues that have dogged the nation for years.

"We are before a very critical and sensitive period in the history of Iraq," al-Jabouri told Kerry.


Kerry's trip comes on the eve of a meeting in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, where he and Arab leaders across the Mideast will discuss what nations can contribute to an ever-growing global coalition against the Islamic State.

The US and nine other counties - Canada, Australia and across Europe - agreed last week to create a united front against the mostly Sunni extremist group that has overrun much of northern Iraq and Syria. Thursday's meeting in Jeddah seeks to do much of the same and will gauge the level of support from the Sunni-dominated Mideast region. Kerry also was to visit Jordan.

Meanwhile, in Paris, French government spokesperson Stephane Le Foll said all five permanent members of the UN Security Council - the US, the United Kingdom, France, Russia and China - would take part in a conference in the French capital Monday that will focus on stabilizing Iraq.

During a French Cabinet meeting Wednesday, Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius brought up the issue of whether Iran would be invited to the Paris conference, but it "has not yet been decided," according to Le Foll.

The US already has launched about 150 airstrikes on Islamic State militants in Iraq over the past month, a mission undertaken at the invitation of the Iraqi government and without formal authorization from Congress. And it has sent military advisers, supplies and humanitarian aid to help Iraqi national troops and Kurdish forces beat back the insurgents.

It was not clear what, if any, military action Obama would be willing to take in Syria, where he has resisted any mission that might inadvertently help President Bashar Assad and his government in Damascus, which has so far survived a bloody three-year war against Sunni rebels. Obama has ruled out putting US combat troops on the ground.

  • Mafavuke Njengedangamane - 2014-09-10 18:35

    How will this play out? ISIS key bases are in Syria and Russians have one of their biggest naval bases there and they are facing sanctions because of the Ukraine issues.

      Hosni Mubar - 2014-09-10 18:43

      In the long run, positive energy is stronger than negative energy. Assad and Putin are sociopathic, autocratic dictators. Their negative destinies are sealed.

      Ngqukuva Mthombo - 2014-09-16 15:45

      The presumption is that ISIL, also known as IS or ISIS, is somehow out of control, having turned on its covert masters in American and British military intelligence. However, when you note the political consequences from these very public executions of American and British citizens, it appears that the terror network is in fact carrying out orders to facilitate geopolitical objectives. The immediate political consequence is that American and British public opinion is now being mobilized to support military intervention in the Middle East - under the guise of avenging the murder of Western citizens by knife-wielding fanatics. In particular, Washington and London are preparing the American and British public to acquiesce to air strikes inside Syrian territory. This would fulfil the long-held objective of Western regime change against the Syrian government of President Bashar al Assad - the real target - not going after ISIL, as we are being led to believe.

  • rorypreddy - 2014-09-10 19:08

    World war 3

      Ngqukuva Mthombo - 2014-09-16 15:46

      The Iraqi government has given its consent, but Damascus has not. The Syrian government has said that any such US-led military action would be tantamount to an act of aggression against a sovereign nation. Nevertheless, the Western public - shocked by the execution videos - appear to be giving the US-led coalition approval for its exceptional abrogation of international law to carry out air strikes inside Syria without the latter's consent.

  • Alan Yates - 2014-09-10 19:19

    Lies! Barak Hussein Obama is the moslem who permitted ISIS.

      Darren Marcus - 2014-09-10 19:33

      Agreed this cult has no end !

      Hosni Mubar - 2014-09-11 01:10

      Ha ha ha ha! Obama is a Muslim. Too many people are just ill informed. He's Christian. Hello! It's not difficult to find this out.

      Alan Yates - 2014-09-11 01:29

      Obama=Saudi financed Moslem/Islamic promoter. On youtube there is a very intersting clip of him letting slip about his Muslim religion". Under Jeremiah Wright's "christian" pastorate, both Hussein Obama and his racist anti-white wife were exposed weekly to the sermons of a hater of America.

  • Sean Mitchell - 2014-09-10 19:54

    Sumaiya. Thank you for using uppercase so that we can understand

  • Sean Mitchell - 2014-09-10 20:00

    Mafavuke. I detest John McCain, but he has never been photographed with ISIS. If he had the Democrats would be all over him like a rash

      Hosni Mubar - 2014-09-11 01:15

      Sean, too many bloggers just make things up, based on their wild prejudices. They make themselves completely irrelevant to world events.

  • Darren Marcus - 2014-09-10 20:02

    All I know is if muslims were to creat a comic book ! The hero of that book would be called conspiracy man ! His powers would be brainwashing

  • Sean Mitchell - 2014-09-10 20:03

    Mohammed Kajee. Your continuous lies are so transparent it is unbelievable. Your absurd claims are easily checkable and are hopelessly debased rubbish.

  • Sean Mitchell - 2014-09-10 20:11

    It is for you who has made a blatantly false assertion to defend it. But there is no way on Earth that you can because it is a complete and utter lie

  • Alan Yates - 2014-09-11 00:54

    @Mo, how can any Hater cum Moslem Jihadi like yourself expect any non-Moslem who wants no part of Islam (free human right NOT to tolerate Islam) and who knows that because it has a death penalty for leaving (BTW. Islam is an ideology that OK's parents killing their own children especially if theur kids wake up and reject and leave Islam). Islam is not a religion but an Apartheid, anti-Women, anti-non-Moslem intolerant and bullying Political system hiding behind the veil of "religion". Thank Goodness that Jesus, the son of God, in whom he is well pleased, gives Human beings who leave Islam the spiritual power to escape the clutches of this cult that kills those who yearn to depart from it, yet lies to the world that it is a "religion of peace"...By Its fruits will you know it: HAMAS, ISIS, BOKO, QUEDA, OBAMA .... and that is just the tip of this foul iceberg of hate...

  • Alan Yates - 2014-09-11 01:23

    Liberal westerners (useful idiots) who espouse the prevailing politically correct Islamo-leftist, "multi-culti" worldview that all ideological systems are equal and would never want to cause harm to each other are NOT living in the real world. The prime example in today's world is the ongoing 1400 year-old WAR that Islam and Moslems continue to wage daily against Infidel and Mushrikun. Where is the respect for the human rights of the indigenous girls of Rotherham, UK, who were abandoned by their own people to Moslem rape gangs, exercising their Koranic right to sexually enslave the Infidel (also happening in any Moslem entity near you: BOKO, ISIS, TALIBAN...along list). Brainwashed PC leftists like Jane make a fundamental mistake when they equate Middle East Moslem vs non Moslem hate and war to the pre 1994 situation in SA. They are NOT the same, no matter how much the naive leftist wishful/kumbaya thinkers like Jane (and even Kerry and Obama(?)) would like to think otherwise. Islam is the problem.Period. Sad but true.It has been since its desert Bedouin war lord, Mo, started it 1400 years ago.

      Hosni Mubar - 2014-09-11 01:30

      You're going too far. There's no positive point in being so poisonous against "liberal westerners". This is a largely false right-wing construct. You are putting yourself on the extreme right. Truth is never on the extremes.

  • Walter Rocha - 2014-09-11 09:15

    People like to portion blame here there and every where and while they do that the fact remains that so many people are being slaughtered by a bunch of thugs who are evil. Stop the killing , just because the Shia / Suni have been fighting for centuries doesn't make it right. We not in the stone ages anymore and those who choose to still have that mentality should be dealt with

  • Sean Mitchell - 2014-09-11 15:38

    Alan. I am a Liberal Western Useful Idiot. I think it is really uncool of you to blame us for Jihad

  • Sean Mitchell - 2014-09-11 15:56

    Alan. I also thought that our preferred Commander in Chief had been doing rather a good job of pruning the Jihadis in the Tribal areas of Pakistan and Ahmedabad (he was stylish but bad), Yemen and Somalia. He also made some contribution to the removal of Gaddafi, whom it has to be acknowledged, had to go, if only for his eye-searing fashion sense.

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