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Military expert: Washington cautious in building international anti-ISIS coalition to avoid all-out war

September 6, 2014 at 1:26 pm

US President Barack Obama is cautious about the formation of the international alliance against ISIS, announced on Friday, military expert Gen. (rt) Safwat al-Zayat told Anadolu.

Zayat said that NATO and the US will not start their operations on the ground until they guarantee the protection of the territorial integrity of Iraq and Syria.

He pointed out that Obama is cautiously studying the formation of the alliance for fear of an all-out war with ISIS, which explains why he started with military support (for the Iraqi army) and blocking sources of financing ISIS.

US Secretary of Defence Chuck Hagel told a NATO summit that the anti-ISIS alliance would be composed of 10 members at the beginning, but would later be expanded.

The 10 member states include the US, UK, France, Germany, Canada, Australia, Italy, Turkey, Poland and Denmark.

“We and the ministers agreed here today that there is no time to waste in building a broad international coalition to degrade and, ultimately, to destroy the threat posed by ISIL,” Secretary of State John Kerry and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said in a joint statement. They added that the alliance will provide military support for “Iraqi partners” and will work to stop the flow of foreign fighters to Iraq and Syria and the humanitarian crisis that ensued from the fighting.

Monzer Sulaiman, director of the Arab-American Studies Center in Washington said in an interview with Anadolu that Washington’s announcement indicates the NATO’s failure and limitations outside Europe, especially with the lack of a UN resolution that allows for military intervention in Iraq.

Western countries will rely on the Iraqi government’s request for help from the US in this regard, he added.

The two experts agreed that the expansion of the alliance will depend on Kerry’s and White House Counter-terrorism coordinator Liza Monaco’s visit to the Middle East and their talks with the region’s countries on ways to counter ISIS.

Obama’s chairing of a UN Security Council meeting at the end of this month will probably affect the shaping of the alliance, Sulaiman said.