U.S.: More than 40 nations joined coalition against ISIS

The United States does not regard Iran as part of its coalition

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More than 40 nations have agreed to join a coalition that will be led by the United States against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), which has seized swath of Syria and northern Iraq, a State Department spokesman said on Monday.

Jen Psaki said the goal of the coalition is to coordinate on the threat that ISIS poses, adding that the allies would have differing roles and that not all would offer Iraq direct military support.

“There are obviously a range of capabilities or capacities that different countries have,” she said, adding that the coalition would seek to cut off ISIS from funding, foreign reinforcements and ideological support.

The United States does not regard Iran as part of its coalition against the Islamic State, despite the support that Tehran is already providing to Iraq in its battle against the Sunni militants, Associated Press reported.

Kerry is to leave Washington on Tuesday and will visit Jordan and Saudi Arabia for talks with key the Arab allies. U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel was in Turkey on Monday.

He said that President Barack Obama needs to weigh all the consequences of what could be a lengthy campaign, and what could go wrong.

“Once you start an airstrike, or once you start any military action, it doesn’t end there. It ends up somewhere down the road,” said Hagel. “That’s not an excuse for inaction, because, as we know, there are consequences to inaction as well.”

The White House has urged Congress to inject money into a counterterrorism fund to train and equip partners in other countries to fight extremists, an initiative that would be a core component of Obama’s plan to address ISIS fighters, according to Reuters.

Obama believes he currently has the authority he needs to address the threat Islamic State poses to American citizens, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said.

But if Obama decided to expand the scope of military operations in Iraq and Syria, he would make a determination at that point on whether he would need additional congressional authorization, Earnest said.

[With AP and Reuters]

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