Kerry Wins Arab States’ Support For Syria/Iraq Military Campaign
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After talks in Saudi Arabia’s summer capital Jeddah, Secretary of State John Kerry won backing from 10 Arab countries – Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon and six Gulf states including rich rivalsSaudi Arabia and Qatar – for a coalition to fight the Sunni militants that have seized swathes of Iraq and Syria.
“Arab nations play a critical role in that coalition, the leading role really across all lines of effort: military support, humanitarian aid, our work to stop the flow of illegal funds,” Kerry told a news conference.
Non-Arab Sunni power Turkey also attended the Jeddah talks but two other major regional players – Shi’ite Iran and Syria itself – were excluded, a sign of the difficulty of building a coalition across the Middle East’s sectarian battle lines.
The Arab states agreed in a communique to do more to stop the flow of funds and fighters to Islamic State and help rebuild communities “brutalized” by the group.
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