The United States says other countries are willing to launch air strikes in Syria against Islamic State militants and its U.N. ambassador predicted on Sunday: “We will not do the air strikes alone.”
Washington is trying to build an international military, political and financial coalition to defeat the radical Sunni Muslim group that has seized swathes of Iraq and Syria and proclaimed a caliphate in the heart of the Middle East.
U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power was asked on CBS’ “Face the Nation” if the United States had any indication other countries were willing to launch air strikes in Syria.
“We do,” Power said. “But we’re going to leave it to other nations to announce for themselves what their specific commitments to the coalition are going to be.”
Power highlighted U.S. efforts to build a coalition against Islamic State on television news shows as world leaders gathered in New York for this week’s U.N. General Assembly.
The United States has launched air strikes against Islamic State within Iraq and President Barack Obama has authorized strikes in Syria aimed at denying Islamic State fighters safe havens in either country. Washington has also committed $500 million to arm and train Syrian rebels and 1,600 U.S. troops into Iraq to fight the group.
Power refused to identify any of the countries that might join air attacks in Syria, but told CBS, “we do indeed have the support along the lines that I’ve described.”
Power told the ABC program “This Week” there was universal support for “degrading and destroying” Islamic state.
“I will make you a prediction,” Power said on ABC. “We will not do the air strikes alone if the president decides to do the air strikes.”
France last week launched air strikes inside Iraq, but its President Francois Hollande ruled out action in Syria.
Obama will give a speech at the General Assembly on Wednesday to make the case again for world action against Islamic State.
Islamic State has vowed to pursue a “direct confrontation” with the United States and made public its beheadings of American journalists James Foley and Steven Sotloff as retaliation for U.S. air attacks in Iraq.
While Americans support air strikes, there is little appetite for a long campaign against the group, a Reuters/Ipsos poll showed.
Congress last week approved Obama’s request for $500 million to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight Islamic State, but some lawmakers expressed reservations.
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