KSA joins airstrikes to crush IS
Saudi Arabia’s air force participated in US-led bombing strikes against the so-called Islamic State (IS) militants in Syria on Tuesday as part of global efforts to eliminate terrorism, an official source said.
“The Saudi Royal Air Force participated in the military operations against IS in Syria, in support of the moderate Syrian opposition, and as part of the international coalition,” said the source. The coalition, he added, was formed to “eliminate terrorism, a deadly disease, and to support the brotherly Syrian people to restore security, unity and development in this devastated country.”
Foreign Minister Prince Saud Al-Faisal, meanwhile, told a New York forum that Saudi Arabia would be in the forefront of global efforts to defeat terrorists. “We’ll never hesitate to participate in such serious international anti-terror operations,” he said.
Prince Saud expressed the Kingdom’s hope that the present campaign against IS militants would serve as a nucleus for an international coalition to strike and root out terrorism all over the world.
Bahrain and the UAE also confirmed their warplanes had taken part in the airstrikes on terrorists in Syria overnight. The Pentagon said Qatar also took part in the military action.
Meanwhile US President Barack Obama vowed more strikes against extremists in Syria. “We will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people,” Obama said.
The White House said US forces made separate strikes on its own against the Khorasan group, an Al-Qaeda affiliate, in order to disrupt planning for imminent attacks on the West.
“For some time now, we’ve been tracking plots to conduct attacks in the US or Europe,” Ben Rhodes, Obama’s deputy national security adviser, told reporters traveling with the president to the UN General Assembly meeting.
US and Arab strikes on militant targets in Syria overnight were just a start of a coalition effort to weaken IS. “I can tell you that last night’s strikes were only the beginning,” Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary, told reporters. He said the strikes had been “very successful” and would continue.