Ambassador Shapiro: Israel Helping US Tackle ISIS Threat

September 11, 2014  

In an interview Thursday, US Ambassador to Israel Dan Shapiro said that the US and Israel would continue to cooperate diplomatically and militarily in the wake of US President Barack Obama’s speech Wednesday night laying out a strategy for fighting ISIS, the Islamist terror group that has conquered large parts of Iraq and Syria.

Speaking to Israel Radio, Shapiro said that the intelligence services of both countries were already in contact about the issue, and would cooperate in beating back the ISIS threat. Israel is an important American partner in the Middle East, Shapiro said, and would by extension be an important part of the fight against ISIS.

In his speech Wednesday, Obama said that the US would form a broad coalition to combat ISIS.

Addressing the threat posed by the terrorist group, Obama said that “the greatest threat comes from Middle East and North Africa, one of them is Islamic State.” ISIS is “not Islamicno religion condones the killing of innocentsand they’re certainly not a state,” he added.

He further noted that the airstrikes he recently approved against IS targets in Iraq have protected American interests, killed members of ISIS and have helped the Iraqi government regain territories taken by ISIS.

“So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, [ISIS] through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy,” said Obama.

“I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” he said.

In the interview, Shapiro added that efforts were being made to set up a meeting between Obama and Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu when the latter visits the US later this month. Netanyahu is set to spend Rosh Hashana (Jewish New Year) in the US.

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