Obama calls for dismantling Islamic State’s 'network of death'

Updated - November 16, 2021 05:47 pm IST

Published - September 24, 2014 08:40 pm IST - UNITED NATIONS

U.S. President Barack Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama

Declaring the world at a “crossroads between war and peace,” President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday to lead a coalition to dismantle the Islamic State militant group’s “network of death” that has wreaked havoc in the Middle East and drawn the U.S. back into military action in the region.

Speaking to the annual gathering of the United Nations General Assembly, Mr. Obama said the U.S. would be a “respectful and constructive partner” in confronting the militants through force. But he also implored Middle Eastern nations to take the lead in addressing the conditions that have sparked the rise of extremists, including cutting off funding to terror groups.

“Ultimately, the task of rejecting sectarianism and extremism is a generational task a task for the people of the Middle East themselves,” Mr. Obama said. “No external power can bring about a transformation of hearts and minds.”

The President’s remarks came against the backdrop of an expanded U.S. military campaign against the Islamic State group, with airstrikes now hitting targets in both Iraq and Syria. A coalition of five Arab nations joined the U.S. this week in the strikes in Syria - Bahrain, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Qatar.

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