US urges NATO al­lies to do more against IS

Pakistan Observer - - NEWS -

BRUS­SELS—US De­fence Sec­re­tary Ash­ton Carter on Wed­nes­day urged NATO al­lies to do more to help the US-led an­tiIs­lamic State coali­tion fin­ish the job in Iraq and Syria and de­stroy the ji­hadi group.

NATO de­fence min­is­ters ear­lier agreed to ex­tend train­ing of Iraqi troops from Jor­dan to Iraq it­self and to con­sider de­ploy­ing AWACS sur­veil­lance air­craft.

“I would like to see NATO do more,” Carter told re­porters af­ter min­is­ters met at the al­liance HQ in Brus­sels.

“I be­lieve there is still more NATO can do to has­ten the destruc­tion of ISIL,” he said, us­ing an­other name for IS.

IS seized large swathes of ter­ri­tory in Iraq and Syria, scat­ter­ing gov­ern­ment and rebel troops with ease, but Wash­ing­ton has mar­shalled its al­lies inside NATO and out to help force the ji­hadists back from key ar­eas.

Most of the 28 NATO mem­ber states con­trib­ute to the anti-IS coali­tion in­di­vid­u­ally but the al­liance it­self as an or­gan­i­sa­tion has no di­rect role in the cam­paign.

With IS in­creas­ingly on the de­fen­sive and los­ing ground, Carter said NATO could make a “mean­ing­ful con­tri­bu­tion,” help­ing con­sol­i­date coali­tion gains while gov­ern­ment forces press on.

Asked if NATO’s of­fer to in­crease train­ing of Iraqi of­fi­cers and the pos­si­ble AWACS de­ploy­ment were mod­est com­pared with what oth­ers were do­ing, Carter in­sisted that was far from the case.

“There is no way that is sec­ondary, that is very im­por­tant... it is not pe­riph­eral,” he said. NATO lead­ers will an­nounce a fi­nal de­ci­sion on the Iraq train­ing mis­sion and AWACS planes at their July 8-9 sum­mit in Warsaw.—AFP

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