Islamic alliance to ‘dry up terrorists’ resources’

Saudi spokesman Brigadier General Ahmed Assiri also said Riyadh ‘has presented a paper to follow the resources of terrorism funding’

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In their first meeting in Riyadh on Sunday, military chiefs from Muslim nations vowed to “dry up terrorists’ resources,” a Saudi military spokesman told reporters.

Brig. Gen. Ahmed Assiri said the representatives of the newly-formed Islamic Alliance – made up of 34 Muslim countries – had discussed “ideological, media, financial and military” aspects to combat terrorism.

He also said the attendance of 39 Muslim nations, not all of which were members of the coalition, “sends a strong message on importance and nature of the alliance,” adding that such force is needed in the face of “ISIS recreating Muslims and Arabs to put them in confrontation with the world.”

Assiri said the officials met to discuss a “unified” strategy to degrade terrorism, and it is based on “proposed initiatives.”

“Today’s meeting is to put the foundation stone for the coalition,” he said, adding that the meeting “is about proposed initiatives. Today we did not discuss any individual cases.”

However, he said “Saudi has presented a paper to follow the resources of terrorism funding.”

The spokesman emphasize that the coalition will work according to “international law and standards,” dismissing that any country “would take a unilateral decision.”

“Sovereignty is respected,” he reiterated. “States that want a military intervention in their countries would lead the mission.”

While many of the Muslim states in the meeting - including Saudi, Turkey and the UAE - are also part of the US-led coalition against ISIS, the Islamic Alliance would not only target the militant group but “other terrorist groups in the wider sense.”

The meeting, considered the first of its kind, aims to coordinate efforts among the 34 Muslim countries involved in the alliance.
The coalition was announced in December by Saudi Defense minister Prince Mohammed bin Salman in a bid to establish a unified Muslim body to fight terrorism.

The coalition started through the establishment of a joint operations center in Riyadh.

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