The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, whom ISIS has labeled the “head of the snake,” is answering criticisms from the U.S. and U.K. that they are not doing enough to fight the terror group by forming a monumental 34 nation coalition to accelerate the fight.
Saudi Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman announced the plan saying ISIS is a “disease which affected the Islamic world first before the international community as a whole.”
While it remains unclear how the group will function, it is an important first step in solving the crisis of terrorism in the Middle East. Equally as important is that is the Sunni nation of Saudia Arabia taking the lead in the fight against a Sunni terror organization.
Not on the list of member states is Syria and Iran, the Shia strongholds in the region. Here is a list of the 34:
Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Benin, Chad, Comoros, Djibouti, Egypt, Gabon, Guinea, Ivory Coast, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Libya, Malaysia, Maldives, Mali, Morocco, Mauritania, Niger, Nigeria, Pakistan, the Palestinians, Qatar, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, Sudan, Togo, Tunisia, Turkey, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.
From the Wall Street Journal:
Saudi Arabia’s plan to form a Muslim antiterrorism coalition has underlined a new muscular foreign policy aimed at confronting the extremist group Islamic State, even at the risk of wading deeper into the Middle East’s messiest conflicts and fanning its sectarian hostilities.
Calling terrorism a “disease which affected the Islamic world first before the international community as a whole,” Deputy Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman on Tuesday said the coalition of 34 Muslim states would fight the scourge in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.
Besides the 34 Muslim nations, Riyadh said more than 10 other countries expressed their support for the new bloc. Absent from the list was predominantly Shiite Iran—the kingdom’s main rival for leadership in the Muslim world—as well as Israel and Shiite-led Iraq.
Will this new bloc work to weed out ISIS? Share your thoughts in the comments below!