John Kerry 'extremely encouraged' by US allies in fight against IS

Posted By: IANS
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Kerry encouraged to fight against IS
Washington, Sept 15:  US Secretary of State John Kerry has said in a TV interview that he is "extremely encouraged" that his country's allies have expressed a willingness to offer military assistance in the fight against the militants of the Islamic State (IS).

"I can tell you right here and now that we have countries in this region, countries outside of this region, in addition to the United States, all of whom are prepared to engage in military assistance, in actual strikes if that is what it requires," he said in an interview on CBS's "Face the Nation" that was aired on Sunday.

Some countries have said they are prepared to launch airstrikes in coordination with the US in the fight against the IS militants, said Kerry, adding, however, that it was "not appropriate" to start announcing each country's plan, Xinhua reported.

"We're not looking to put troops on the ground. There are some who have offered to do so, but we are not looking for that, at this moment anyway," he said in Egyptian capital Cairo.

Kerry: We're not looking to put troops on the ground

Kerry has been traveling throughout the Middle East working to build a coalition of nations to fight IS militants. The top US diplomat rejected the possibility of coordinating the military operation with the Syrian government.

"We are not going to coordinate it with Syria," Kerry said. "We will certainly want to de-conflict and make certain that they're not about to do something that they might regret even more seriously. But we're not going to coordinate, it's not a cooperative effort."

In the interview, Kerry backtracked on the language he had used to describe the fight against the Islamic State, saying that "we are at war" with the IS.

"I think there's frankly a kind of tortured debate going on about terminology," said Kerry, who rejected the word "war" in a previous interview with CBS.

"In terms of Al Qaeda, which we have used the word 'war' with, yeah...we are at war with Al Qaeda and its affiliates. And in the same context if you want to use it, yes, we are at war with ISIL (the former abbreviation of the IS) in that sense," Kerry said, using an alternate acronym for the group.


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