World powers back US military measures in Iraq

PARIS: World Powers Monday announced to back the US military action in Iraq, which it says, it being carried out to defeat Islamic State fighters in Iraq.
The move experts say has boosted Washington’s efforts to set up a coalition, but made no mention of the tougher diplomatic challenge next door in Syria.
France sent fighter jets on a reconnaissance mission over Iraq, a step closer to becoming the first ally to join the United States in new bombing there since president Barack Obama declared his plans to establish a broad coalition last week.
Paris also hosted an international conference, attended by the five UN Security Council permanent members, European and Arab states, and representatives of the EU, Arab League and United Nations. All pledged to help the government in Baghdad fight against Islamic State militants.
But a statement after today’s conference made no mention at all of Syria – the other country where Islamic State fighters hold a wide swathe of territory. Iraq attended yesterday’s meeting but Syria did not, nor did its main regional ally, Iran.
Mr Obama pledged last week to establish a coalition to defeat Islamic State fighters in both Iraq and Syria, plunging the United States into two separate civil wars in which nearly every country in the Middle East has a stake.
“All participants underscored the urgent need to remove Daesh from the regions in which it has established itself in Iraq,” said a statement after today’s talks, using an Arabic acronym for the group which now calls itself Islamic State.
“To that end, they committed to supporting the new Iraqi Government in its fight against Daesh, by any means necessary, including appropriate military assistance….” it said.
French foreign minister Laurent Fabius said French aircraft would begin reconnaissance flights over Iraq. A French official said two Rafale fighter jets and a refueling aircraft had taken off today for Iraq.
“The throat-slitters of Daesh – that’s what I’m calling them – tell the whole world ‘Either you’re with us or we kill you’. And when one is faced with such a group there is no other attitude than to defend yourself,” Mr Fabius told a news conference at the end of the talks.
Iraqi president Fouad Massoum told today’s conference he hoped the Paris meeting would bring a “quick response”.
“Islamic State’s doctrine is either you support us or kill us . It has committed massacres and genocidal crimes and ethnic purification,” he told delegates.
Today’s conference was an important vote of confidence for the new Iraqi government, formed last week, led by a member of
Iraq’s Shia majority, prime minister Haider al-Abadi, and also including minority Sunnis and Kurds in important jobs.
Iraq’s allies hope that Mr Abadi will prove a more consensual leader than his predecessor Nuri al-Maliki, a Shia whose policies alienated many Sunnis. They hope that the new Iraqi government will win back support from Sunnis who had backed the Islamic State’s revolt.
Monday’s conference shows that Mr Abadi enjoys broad international good will, which means Washington will probably face little diplomatic pushback over plans to use air strikes against Islamic State fighters on that side of the frontier.
Syria, however, is a much trickier case. In a three year civil war, Islamic State has emerged as one of the most powerful Sunni groups battling against the government of president Bashar al-Assad, a member of a Shia-derived sect.
Washington remains hostile to Assad, which means any bombing is likely to take place without permission of the government in Damascus. Russia, which has a veto at the UN Security Council and supports Assad, says bombing would be illegal without a Security Council resolution. Turkey and other countries are wary of measures against Islamic State that might help Assad.

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