Arabs skeptical of U.S. plan to fight ISIS, want to see strategy before they sign on

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Islamic State militants
Islamic State militants

A chief element of President Barack Obama’s plans to combat Islamic State militants is to line up a coalition of Arab nations to help. Arab officials, so far, have been lukewarm about the idea.

Governments across the region are pressing the Obama administration to make clear what military, financial and diplomatic measures it is preparing to take against Islamic State before they sign on to any U.S.-led coalition, said senior U.S. and Arab officials.

Leading states, including Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates and Jordan, also are seeking a White House pledge to more aggressively pursue Islamist militias in other countries, in particular Libya, Egypt and Tunisia. The self-declared Islamic State, which also is known as ISIS or ISIL, hold territory straddling the Iraqi-Syrian border.

“Everyone is agreed on the need to address the threat from ISIS and other extremist groups in the region,” said a senior Arab official involved in the deliberations. “But until we see a strategy or plan that outlines how to achieve this goal, it will be difficult to enlist countries in the fight.”

Starting this week, Secretary of StateJohn Kerry and other senior administration officials will fan out across the Middle East to try to galvanize the region behind a U.S.-led coalition to combat Islamic State.

President Obama, in an interview with NBC News that aired Sunday, said “we’re going to need Sunni states to step up—not just Saudi Arabia, our partners like Jordan, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey….This is their neighborhood. The dangers that are posed are more directed at them right now than they are us.”

Arab officials said in interviews over the past week they are skeptical of the Obama administration’s campaign on Islamic State in the wake of what they call a diminished U.S. role in the Middle East.

Major Sunni Arab powers, and in particular, Saudi Arabia, say Islamic State’s rise was fueled by the failure of Mr. Obama to intervene more aggressively in Syria to support moderate rebels fighting President Bashar al-Assad’s government.

The Obama administration has relied heavily on Arab states and Turkey to try to build up a moderate opposition inside Syria to fight the Assad regime, but with little success. U.S. officials have voiced alarm that funds and arms from these countries, not necessarily with the governments’ consent, have wound up in the hands of extremist groups.

Saudi Arabia’s King Abdullah, the Arab officials said, was particularly angered by Mr. Obama’s failure to follow through on threats to launch military strikes against the Syrian regime after it allegedly used chemical weapons on civilians.

“The Saudi government believes this was one of the triggers for ISIS’s rise,” said a second senior Arab official.

In Europe last week, Mr. Obama secured commitments from nine nations, including France, the U.K. and Turkey, to form part of a new alliance against Islamic State. No Arab states have yet signed up.

Mr. Obama said the new alliance would rely on a combination of approaches: airstrikes targeting Islamic State fighters in Iraq; funneling weapons to Middle East forces battling the group; and unified steps to prevent the militants from illegally selling oil to finance their operations.

The U.S. views Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Qatar, Turkey and Jordan as crucial in cutting off the flow of money and foreign fighters into Islamic State’s war machine. It also wants these governments to use their influence with Iraq’s Sunni tribes to try to peel them away from alliances they’ve forged with Islamic State in recent months.

U.S. officials said they envision these countries bolstering military operations against Islamic State by providing training to Iraqi forces and Syrian rebels and possibly participating in allied military operations.

Qatar and the U.A.E. supported the North Atlantic Treaty Organization’s air war against the late Libyan dictator Col. Moammar Gadhafi in 2011.

“They can provide physical space and locations for training, and they can agree to work with us on training and equipping and advising,” said a senior U.S. official engaged in the deliberations with the major Sunni Arab states.

“They can be a voice and galvanize the moderate Sunni voices in their communities.”

Mr. Kerry is expected to visit Jordan and Saudi Arabia, according to diplomats briefed on his travel. In Riyadh, he is scheduled to meet with the foreign ministers of the Gulf Cooperation Council, which represents Saudi Arabia, the U.A.E., Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Qatar.

On Saturday, Mr. Kerry called the secretary-general of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby, to discuss Islamic State. “They discussed the need for the Arab League and its members to take a strong position in the coalition,” the State Department said.

Divisions between the U.S. and its Arab allies have surfaced in recent months as the threat of Islamic State and other extremist groups operating in Syria and Iraq has grown.

Treasury Department officials have voiced concerns that funding for Islamic State and al Qaeda-linked groups continues to come out of Persian Gulf countries, particularly Kuwait and Qatar. Last month, Treasury sanctioned three Kuwait-base financiers for allegedly providing funds for these organizations.

Kuwaiti and Qatari officials have denied their governments are funding Islamic State or other extremist groups.

Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the U.A.E. have all showed a growing willingness to operate more independently of the U.S. to combat extremists in their region. All three governments have argued the U.S. has underestimated the threat posed by Egypt’s Muslim Brotherhood Islamist movement and its affiliated organizations in North Africa and the Mideast.

U.S. officials believe the U.A.E. and Egypt were behind a series of airstrikes on Islamist militias in Libya last month. The Emirati warplanes operated out of bases in Egypt and hit targets near the Libyan capital of Tripoli, administration officials said.

Cairo and Abu Dhabi neither confirmed nor denied their role in the strikes. But Arab officials said these countries’ military operations are a sign Egypt and the U.A.E. are losing confidence in Washington acting against what they view as growing security threats to their countries.

WSJ

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59 responses to “Arabs skeptical of U.S. plan to fight ISIS, want to see strategy before they sign on”

  1. Reasonableman Avatar
    Reasonableman

    Arabs watching the west kill arabs….
    Wayn l sharaf wayn?
    Shu deenkon?
    Shu damkon?
    If the IS group was built on the foundations “of failure to arm moderate rebels by the west” then the west will only screw things up more.
    You have compramised and pimped out your authority for “quick fix”.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Yes Reasonable … even if it rid the world of some very dangerous pollutants, it sure seemed the wrong thing to do … make a ‘deal’ to remove the gases they could verify and build a ship to dispose of them … then look like they were turning tail and running away. I seriously doubt the Yanks were too worried about the Iranian and Russian gunboats who were watching them. Why go away???
      I know that normal folks in Tripoli, under guns themselves at the time, were happily waiting to see the missiles and jets flying over their heads on the way to Assadland. They were waiting to cheer and wave flags as the Syrian ability to do more bombing of it’s own cities was reduced significantly. When the small fleet sailed away, the people were stunned.
      More refugees streamed over the border after that. More Tripolians left. Lebanon finally had to get the LAF into the place – that embattled ‘north’ – to try to quell the ‘gun-carriers’.

      And here is where I pause, thinking about that.
      There NEVER seems to be a shortage of weapons. In fact, there is a preference for the AK47 over the M16. And the ever-present RPGs are proudly displayed everywhere. In Tripoli there seemed a never-ending supply of hand-grenades. I have a picture of a (fortunately) ‘dud’ rocket-shell stuck in the gravel on a hospital roof. And gangs drive by with the passenger spraying machine-gun bullets to chop at legs. SO …. Where’s the shortage??
      Before my friends were blown out of their house this year, the new windows installed the previous year already had 3 bullet-holes to match others in the walls … not counting the one that had gone through the toilet drain-pipe. And the one in a friend.
      SO … Where’s the shortage??
      I have to believe there are A LOT more floating around in Syria. At least, Syria.
      Maybe there’s only a shortage of bullets?

      So … I now think, what they really want is BIGGER weapons. Weapons to cause more damage than they receive. Weapons to make ‘shock & awe’ the order of the day. The kind of weapons that Assad uses. The kind of weapons Iraqis left for ISIS to pick up. BIG.
      The stuff that makes women and kids cry in fear simply from the sound and shock-waves felt a mile away. The stuff that Israelis demonstrate with in Gaza.
      So they themselves don’t get hurt.
      The seemingly never-ending supplies to make car-bombs isn’t enough to make those women and kid’s lives a bit of a Hell??? Every DAY ??

      SO …. sometimes …. I think it wasn’t a bad idea Obama had … got rid of some VERY bad gasses, at least … didn’t have to sink any Irainian or Russian ships to pollute the Med even more … and while helping the LAF with supplies, left the Crazies to sort out themselves a little more in the way of armies of the past … men with personal guns – keeping it personal.
      You know? Actually winning a battle ‘mano-a-mano’, instead of making governments rail and capitulate due to the sound of crying women and kids.
      Of course, I suppose he didn’t foresee the super-personal use of knives by butchers.
      On defenceless heads.
      But that’s a different philosophy altogether. Which no-one imagined.

      1. Reasonableman Avatar
        Reasonableman

        Nice peice of writing there.
        Lebanon is in sleeping mode and dependant on its region.

        I imagine lebanon as a lazy yet perfectly strong healthy kid who lives off his rich parents on his own terms because lack of balls to fend for himself…. kinda wierd but true.

        IS can be tackled politically though, for now their demands are only prisoners and safety, whilst the hezbos are in it to win it, the fall of a proxy in syria means they have achieved nothing for the last 30 years, their demands are known which is to stay armed.
        just my 2cents

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Lots of ‘stuff’ available in Somalia too.
          http://www.bbc.com/news/world-africa-29113637

  2. $89733098 Avatar

    “we’re going to need Sunni states to step up”

    Really Kerry??
    Where the hell were u when the Sunni states were trying to arm the moderate rebels? Where the hell were u when innocent Sunni protestors were being massacred by Assad and Maliki???
    NOW u want them to help u!!??

    1. So true…

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        If Hind was right, this is ‘The B’ on her own Blog ….
        http://philebersole.wordpress.com/2013/08/23/will-make-violent-revolution-inevitable/

        1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
          Comtessa di Alba

          I don’t have a blog!! My computer is slow i guess..it didn’t open, now you have two marital lives, lucky you.

      2. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
        Comtessa di Alba

        True as says the Sunni Salafist. Only her Sunni extremists
        who massacred Christians of Syria and Irak are “innocent”-
        http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/turkey-fears-pkk-may-obtain-anti-isis-weapons.

        PS.
        Hannibal, the Comtessa di Alba in your “like” is my stalker,
        Barbaria friend Malmequer who stole my Discus3 days ago,
        managed to get it back, just want you to know why you have
        two Comtessa di Alba :).

        1. $89733098 Avatar

          Ok my sectarian daft mare

          1. $89733098 Avatar

            That’s not presstv nor almanar or al-Akbar so it must be fake. 🙂

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Reporting from Beirut. Who cares who owns it, if reporters are allowed to report? (oh .. yah .. sectarians do..)

          3. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
            Comtessa di Alba

            How many times i told you al Arabiya is owned by Saudi- Arabia who financed ISIS you’re a a baby, ISIS is millionaire..all the crap and cavemen murderers
            flock to Irak join ISIS, they’ve never seen money were they live.

          4. The real lebanese Avatar
            The real lebanese

            Even Nasrallah said he was convinced SA hated IS…..

          5. $89733098 Avatar

            “How many times i told you al Arabiya is owned by Saudi- Arabia”

            Lol right on cue like I said.

          6. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
            Comtessa di Alba

            They’re madly in need of attention let’s keep this blog serious please..good nighti

        2. $89733098 Avatar

          U r the thief

        3. Hind Abyad Avatar

          That’s rich, you the thief blaming the victim.

          1. $89733098 Avatar

            Comtessa u should lodge a complaint with disqus about that thief. The daft mare would “steel” food out of a baby’s mouth.

          2. Hind Abyad Avatar

            I did. Lucky I stumbled across this site. Normally I comment on Egyptian and UAE sites. Al Jazzera in particular, all of a sudden, I started getting these bizarre and hateful posts. People calling me hind leg, hezzie and other revolting comments. Now I know why. The thief above stole my account name. Disqus was not help at all. They basically said that there is nothing they can do and recommended that I reset my account which I’ve done many times.
            I did report it to the Canadian Police in Montreal. They were only mildly interested but when I divulged some details they were very interested. They passed me to another Canadian group called CSIS. Apparently in Canada, it’s against the law to support any facet of the so-called party of god. this CSIS group asked many details about the fake comtessa and promised to investigate and take action. Maybe she will get deported or charged with supporting terrorism. Canadians seem to take this very seriously.

          3. $89733098 Avatar

            Just like over here we have ASIO and they don’t take too kindly to immigrants like farqed up supporting hezbsatan. Hopefully these two animals will be captured and put away for a very long time.

          4. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Well, there’s a copy&paste … sounds like Hind … just get my local Mountie out…

          5. Hind Abyad Avatar

            There is nothing copy and past about my post but if you want to know why CSIS is so interested in the thief and her support for hezbollah, go there and ask them. According to them, it’s a crime in Canada.

          6. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
            Comtessa di Alba

            The thief of What..

          7. Hind Abyad Avatar

            My discuss name and reputation.

    2. nagy_michael2 Avatar
      nagy_michael2

      Right on barabie..

    3. Please watch this video. An anti Tank missile is destroying a helicopter in Syria. Amazing and innovative attack. Youtube video link bellow

      /watch?v=m_2CkPMbBz0

      1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
        Comtessa di Alba

        Amazing.. ISIS is getting planes and weapons from a NATO Ally, Turkey, passing trough it’s borders with Syria on the way to Irak, Obama turning a blind eye wink wink.
        Assad Army has killed more ISIS, than the make believe US attacks that are killing more the civilians than killing IS.

        1. $89733098 Avatar

          The Isis queen is spinning BS yet again. Daft mare I’m going to change ur diet, no more sugar for u.

        2. The real lebanese Avatar
          The real lebanese

          Last i checked IS got their advanced weaponry from the Iraqi and possibly Syrian armies who are notorious for taking their pants off and running away instead of fighting for their country. IS wouldn’t be the power it is today had the Iraqi army fought them like soldiersand curbed their advancement. But then again who wanted to fight for a power hogging pm?

          1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
            Comtessa di Alba

            Check Arabic news the other side of the Atlantic
            is Aipac, the other side of the Atlantic is another World. NATO in strategic actions against ISIS, had ISIS Ally
            Turkey at the table and ISIS enemy PKK banned.

            http://english.al-akhbar.com/content/turkey-fears-pkk-may-obtain-anti-isis-weapons

          2. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Correct about it being another world … thankfully. :-))
            Others have been thankful for that too … even Germans captured in WWII.
            You should find this interesting …..
            http://habitualrunaway.wordpress.com/2013/08/08/nazi-pow-camp-camp-30-bowmanville-canada/

        3. I never support the Iranian fifth column ISIS. This helicopter destruction is by the Syrian sunni rebel. Please do not put your words on my mouth. I understand that if you can relate ISIS with the FSA then you can turn the world against the Syrian resistance movement. I wish you good luck on that. But you cant convince your retard propaganda to the FSA. The FSA is doing good and there is no ope for Assad or Iran. Iran is getting a silent defeat in Syria by the Syrian farmers

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            …. who left .

  3. Over 100,000 people have been killed because of these rebels who are trying to overthrow the Syrian government. And Lebanon has a Syrian refugee crisis as a result of these US backed rebels!
    The US is on the wrong side of the war. Everything they touch turns to shit. They did it to Iraq, they did it to Libya and now they’re doing it to Syria. If the Syrian army wasn’t so busy trying to fight off these foreign fighters from all ends of the earth, ISIS would’t have touched their border to begin with. The problem is the West and they’re going to make it worse than it already is by further arming the enemy. The whole conflict was an orchestrated propaganda plot to gain international support to take the war to Syria and crush it, because it poses a threat to Israel just like Iraq. Iran is next on the list.

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      Interesting ‘Icon Image’, there Lara. Listen.
      In the lands that don’t hand out condoms, I don’t think they start counting until 100,000.
      It’s like the Lebanese Lira. :-))))))

      1. That’s a rather psychopathic view. People are people. Where ever they are from, they should not be dehumanised.

        1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
          Comtessa di Alba

          He likes changing subjects..i love the avatar:)

          1. 5thDrawer Avatar

            Well, then, another subject … and a thought for ‘the men’. 😉

        2. 5thDrawer Avatar

          I’d say we were ‘over-humanized’. Part of the bigger problem.
          But then, no-one agrees with some of us on keeping it to the 2.3 anyway.
          Although ‘humans’ are the reason for 50% of the global-warm additions. And ‘nature’ just takes care of the other 50%. :-))

      2. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
        Comtessa di Alba

        I’m trying to send you the marital life here, it didn’t work up there..bonne nuit

        PS. Sunday there was huge Army jets flying over the us, the most peaceful residential area, Security, Firefighters Police lines were jammed by scared angry people asking are we at War, did you ever hear them at low altitude..I felt for the people in Syria and Irak..

        1. 5thDrawer Avatar

          Loud, yes … Folks love that at ‘Air-Shows’. ;-))
          CNE has one every year … But I can understand why Prophetttt didn’t like it.
          I always run outside to watch if one goes over … distinct sounds those babies.
          No Mufflers. :-)))))

    2. America is planning to destroy Arabs on behalf of Zionist Jews.That why they dethrone Saddam who are strong and not intervene in Syria.By that there are no strong force to win.Now they are fighting isis.They will not fighting isis to the end.America will weaken isis only,not to defeat them.By that there are wars forever.They like if Iran involve in the war.By that they will destroy both sunni and syiah,enemy of Israel.To plant democracy is a fake.America are having two faces.It show it,s white face and hiding it,s true black face.Jews are too smart for the white and Arabs.Look you tube on Israel lobby in America.All speakers are American.

      1. 5thDrawer Avatar

        Well, yes Zabada. One would expect them all to be American. Lobbyists usually are.
        Some might be co-incidentally Jewish as well.
        All ‘lobbying’ should be abolished. Of course. I think another lobby is working on that.
        Although I don’t think it’s the same lobby as the NRA and gun manufacturers use.
        (Lobbying …. another form of ‘payola’.)

  4. $89733098 Avatar

    Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.

    JFK

    1. 5thDrawer Avatar

      JFK was killed for being JFK. (no address …)

      1. $89733098 Avatar

        Wow lucky u told everyone coz I thought JFK was killed for being madonna. (No address…)

      2. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
        Comtessa di Alba

        JFK was killed because one a specific day, he said to a staff member; “I’m not going to sit under the same roof as that murderer Itzhak Shamir”
        A Jewish mafioso shot Oswald before he opened his mouth arriving at the Courthouse armed, while people were searched before entering :(l
        He was asked: Why, oh but why, did you kill Oswald?
        In other words; how the hell are we going to learn anything know? Ruby said; “Because he killed the president!!”.
        Israel has lobby muscles.

        So the Barbaria watched Hind’s video?..

        1. $89733098 Avatar

          U wish daft mare but I don’t watch propaganda by ur beloved al Akbar

          1. Comtessa di Alba Avatar
            Comtessa di Alba

            U watched JFK .=

          2. $89733098 Avatar

            Geez u r stupid

          3. Hind Abyad Avatar

            I didn’t understand your comment so I looked up daft mare in urban dictionary. Yes, very fitting description for the thief.

        2. 5thDrawer Avatar

          I saw it all ‘live’ … the way they used to run TV. (sick home from school – lucky)
          Speaking of Schools … YOU THINK the Muslims have it Bad???
          This was a school in Canada in 1914. 😉
          Gotta say, only took 100 years to change ALL of those ancient ‘heads’.

  5. $89733098 Avatar

    This site is seriously boring without daft mare. 🙁

  6. MekensehParty Avatar
    MekensehParty

    Last I checked IS territory did not expand from Georgia to Oklahoma
    So we’re not going to give you a BJ on top of saving your asses.
    Previous scenarios where the US rushes to save you on your demands to be criticized afterward will not happen again
    If you get on board it’s for your own benefit and using your own means under the command that you lack. If you want the US army to be your private militia keep dreaming while IS is on the way to wake you up.

  7. MekensehParty Avatar
    MekensehParty

    Seems that the “skeptical” Arabs have all lined up behind the US plan to fight IS.
    10 Arab states took the decision to take part in the fight.
    Among them is Lebanon.
    Of course while the army will receive the weapons and assistance to beat IS, other “Lebanese” like the Foreign Minister will be spying on the alliance.

    1. $89733098 Avatar

      What else did u expect from the us puppets? Geez Einstein anyone could’ve told u they will ask “how high” when the us says jump.

  8. Ralph Medlei Avatar
    Ralph Medlei

    Death to Islamic State militants!!!!!!!! Long live USA and Israel!!!!!!!! Long live Portugal and Spain!!!!!!!! Long live Russia and China!!!!!!!! Long live Italy and Belgium!!!!!!!!

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