Ten Arab countries have agreed to support the US in fighting the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) militants in Iraq and Syria.

The officials from Bahrain, Egypt, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the UAE offered their support following a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah.

A joint communiqué released by the US State Department states: "The participating states agreed to do their share in the comprehensive fight against ISIL, including: stopping the flow of foreign fighters through neighboring countries, countering financing of ISIL and other violent extremists, repudiating their hateful ideology, ending impunity and bringing perpetrators to justice, contributing to humanitarian relief efforts."

The Arab leaders agreed to help in the reconstruction and rehabilitation of communities destroyed by ISIL, support states that face the most acute ISIL threat, and join in coordinated military campaign against the terrorists.
However, the countries will not send ground troops to combat ISIL.

Kerry was quoted by BBC News as saying: "The region recognises the danger that has been unleashed and they are full-throatedly ready to deal with that and that is why they committed today to take the actions they have committed to."

Saudi Arabia has also agreed to offer its bases as training camps for moderate Syrian rebel fighters, as part of the US strategy to defeat insurgents.

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"The region recognises the danger that has been unleashed and they are ready to deal with that."

Despite attending the meeting, Turkey refused to join the fight against the jihadist group. ISIL is holding 49 Turkish hostages, including diplomats and children since June.

An unnamed US official said: "We understand the challenging situation Turkey is in given their detained diplomats and they will make the decision on what role they can play moving forward."

On 10 September, US President Barack Obama unveiled a counterterrorism strategy to fight ISIL threat. He proposed extension of airstrikes from Iraq to Syria, training Syria’s moderate opposition, as well as providing support, equipment and training to Kurdish and Iraqi forces.

Washington is also deploying additional 475 soldiers to Iraq to advise and assist the Iraqi forces, conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights to increase US capacity to target terrorists, and coordinate the activities of the US military across Iraq.

The US-led offensive against ISIL is scheduled to be finalised during the World Summit 2014 in New York, on 24 September.

Image: Ten Arab countries agreed to support US in fight against ISIL following a meeting with US Secretary of State John Kerry in Jeddah. Photo: courtesy of United States Department of State.

Defence Technology