U.S. to push for coalition to fight Islamic State: Kerry
Sunday, August 31, 2014 - 01:56
The U.S. will reportedly use NATO summit to push for coalition to beat back Islamic State militants, as President Obama continues to come under criticism for not forming a plan yet against the militants in Syria. Mana Rabiee reports.
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The U.S. will use a NATO summit next week to push for a coalition of countries to beat back Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq.
That's according to U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, writing in a New York Times opinion piece on Saturday.
But leading Republicans criticize President Barack Obama for not having a concrete plan in place yet over the militant threat in Syria.
Republican Arizona Senator John McCain, speaking on the CBS news program Face the Nation, said the president is either "in denial or overwhelmed" by the Islamic State.
He criticized the president's decision not to move against the threat of militants in Syria two years ago.
SOUNDBITE: REPUBLICAN ARIZONA SENATOR JOHN MCCAIN SAYING:
"One of the biggest mistakes ever made in my view in recent times was the president's overruling his entire national security team including the Secretary of State that argued two years ago for providing weapons for the Free Syria Army, that was a seminal moment."
But the President's supporters say Obama's taken the smarter approach over Syria.
The threat out of Syria is more complicated than the one in Iraq, they say, where U.S. air power has had an effect in pushing back Islamic State positions.
U.S. military action in Syria would require a team effort with willing partners, says Democrat Congressman Adam Smith from Washington state:
SOUNDBITE: REP. ADAM SMITH (D-WA):
"If we go in and appear to be choosing either the Assad side or the Shiite side in a civil war, then we simply drive more Sunnis into the arms of ISIS, that's why we've got to build these partnerships. Building these partnerships isn't about 'oh, we'd rather not do it ourselves,' it's about 'it won't be effective if we do it ourselves'."
Kerry and U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel travel to the Middle East after their NATO trip.
They'll be looking to shore up support there too, from countries directly affected by the threat of the Islamic State.
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