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2014年9月15日 (月)

米軍空爆拡大へ 有志連合でイスラム国掃討を

The Yomiuri Shimbun
Forming international coalition only way to destroy Islamic State group
米軍空爆拡大へ 有志連合でイスラム国掃討を

Wiping out bloodthirsty extremist militants and restoring stability to the Middle East will require the swift creation of an international coalition prepared to stand united in this fight.

U.S. President Barack Obama has announced a plan to destroy the Islamic State, a Sunni extremist group that has been expanding its grip over swaths of northwest Iraq.

Obama declared that U.S. air strikes conducted against the Islamic State in Iraq since early August will be widened to targets in neighboring Syria.

The U.S. strategy aimed at the Islamic State is supported by more than 40 nations, including Japan. These countries share a sense of growing alarm that the threat of terrorism could spread. The recent brutal murder of two U.S. journalists by the extremist group has helped tip U.S. public opinion in favor of expanding the air strikes.

“I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” Obama said in a televised speech. Although this is an issue that will involve difficulties, we hope the United States will exercise its leadership in the fight against the Islamic State.

U.S. military forces will not be directly involved in combat operations on the ground. Indirect support will be provided to the Iraqi military and Kurdish forces fighting the Islamic State, and to moderate rebel groups in Syria.

Prerequisites for the U.S.’ indirect support are whether the new administration of Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi can help domestic Sunni and Shiite groups reconcile, restore the military’s organizations and ability to fight the extremists.

The United States plans to cooperate with Saudi Arabia to help organize and train moderate rebel groups in Syria. While this likely will take some time, it is vital that capable fighting forces are developed.

Japan should lend hand

About 10 nations, including the United States and Britain, have decided to provide military support to Iraq, with Germany, Italy and Canada supplying weapons and ammunition to Kurdish forces. France also indicated it will join U.S.-led air strikes in Iraq. A coalition of willing nations, including major Arab countries, is steadily coming together.

The Islamic State has an estimated 30,000 fighters from about 50 nations. Weakening and defeating this organization will require even wider, more multifaceted cooperation from the international community.

To prevent these fighters from entering and leaving Iraq and Syria, all affected nations will need to closely share information and monitoring of state borders must be tightened. It is also crucial that the Islamic State’s sources of funds are cut off, and that a public information campaign be stepped up to counteract the extremists’ propaganda efforts.

The growing reach of the Islamic State has displaced thousands of people and left many more as refugees. Providing humanitarian aid to them is becoming ever more important. We hope Japan will actively provide financial and other support to the Middle East, a region on which the nation depends for much of its energy sources.

Thirteen years have passed since the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks on the United States.

The “war on terror” started in Afghanistan, where the Al-Qaida international terrorist network behind the 9/11 attacks was hiding out.

The North Atlantic Treaty Organization will finish its operations to maintain security in Afghanistan at the end of 2014. The fight against extremist groups will continue.

Every party involved in this fight must be prepared for a long battle.

(From The Yomiuri Shimbun, Sept. 14, 2014)Speech


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