Jordan calls for global strategy against militants

AP News
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Posted: Sep 24, 2014 2:23 PM

UNITED NATIONS (AP) — Jordan's King Abdullah joined other countries Wednesday in calling for a collective strategy to contain and defeat Islamic militants targeting Syria and Iraq, warning of a price to every nation if the scourge of extremism is ignored.

"Those who say 'this is not our business' are wrong," he said in a speech at the United Nations General Assembly. "The security of every nation will be shaped by the fate of the Middle East. Together, we can and must undertake urgent humanitarian and security measures to create durable solutions for today's crises," he added.

Jordan, which shares a border with Syria and hosts more than a million Syrian refugees, is among five Arab countries that launched airstrikes on Islamic State group targets in Syria this week. The Sunni extremist group has swallowed large chunks of both Syria and Iraq, brutalizing the local population and imposing its strict interpretation of Islam in areas under its control.

While he avoided mention of the airstrikes in his speech, the Jordanian king said his country is "at the forefront" of efforts to fight extremism.

"The terrorists and criminals targeting Syria, Iraq and other countries today are extreme reflections of a global threat," he said. "Our international community needs a collective strategy to contain and defeat these groups."

Jordan, a key U.S. ally in the region, has a large and strong Islamist and ultraconservative Salafis who have sympathies with the Islamic State group. It was the homeland of Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the militant who founded al-Qaida's branch in Iraq, which eventually evolved into the Islamic State group. He was killed eight years ago in a U.S. airstrike in Iraq.