The U.S.-led international coalition to degrade and destroy the Islamic State in Iraq and the levant, or ISIL, is growing.
The United States welcomes the Australian government’s deployment of fighter aircraft to participate in airstrikes on ISIL in Iraq as well as its intention to deploy Special Forces to Iraq to advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces. With these deployments, Australia demonstrates its continued leadership and resolve in addressing the security challenges that threaten Australia, its people, and the broader international community.
The United States also welcomes the decision by the Danish parliament to authorize a contribution of F-16 fighters to join American, Iraqi and international forces in countering ISIL positions in Iraq and to provide trainers to advise and assist Iraqi Security Forces.
The Turkish parliament has voted to authorize Turkish military activity in Iraq and Syria to counter threats to Turkish security.
The United States will continue to work with its international partners to expand its comprehensive approach to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL through a variety of means.
One key element of the strategy, said Special Presidential Envoy for the Global coalition to Counter ISIL General John Allen, is to stop the flow of foreign fighters, cutting off ISIL’s revenue and access to financing.
Another aspect to defeating ISIL is to support those voices in Iraq, in the region, and around the world who are articulating what ISIL really represents. At the end of September, 120 Islamic Scholars from across the globe stated in an open letter that ISIL’s leaders have “misinterpreted Islam into a religion of harshness, brutality, torture, and murder.”
It is critical, said General Allen, to offer an alternative vision for the future. “ISIL,” he said, “turns frustrated young people into potential agents of terror. To resist ISIL’s lure, these young people have to believe in a different future, one of inclusivity, one of tolerance, and one of economic hope.”
The United States and the international coalition are standing shoulder to shoulder with Iraq in the fight against ISIL and all that it stands for. “We are here to help you fight back,” said General Allen, “and to make sure that, once ISIL is defeated, it can never regroup and terrorize the Iraqi people again.”