On Tuesday, Saudi Arabia announced a coalition of mainly Muslim countries to coordinate a fight against terrorist organizations.
The alliance includes 34 Muslim states but the regional rival Iran and its allies Syria and Iraq are not part of it. Arab countries such as Qatar and the UAE will join the coalition, as well as Middle Eastern, Asian and African states including Turkey, Pakistan, Malaysia and Nigeria. Saudi Arabia defense minister Mohammed bin Salman officially declared the newly formed coalition in response to rising tensions in the Middle East region.
“It is time that the Islamic world take a stand, and they have done that by creating a coalition to push back and confront the terrorists and those who promote their violent ideologies,” said Adel-al-Jubeir, Saudi foreign minister.
Saudi officials have hinted that the member countries won’t be hesitant to deploy troops on the ground to overpower the extremists if required. The coalition states would work together to target any target organization, not just the Islamic State in countries including Syria, Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.
Saudi Arabia has been on the target list of the self-proclaimed Caliphate terrorist organization. Three months earlier, an ISIL suicide bomber killed 15 people including special forces soldiers at a mosque in Asir province, bordering Yemen.
The Islamic State has been involved in dividing the country by targeting the Kingdom’s Shia minority. The organization has carried out number of bomb attacks on the Shia mosques, killing dozens and injuring hundreds. In response to surging terrorist attacks, Saudi authorities have conducted raids unfolding various sleeper cells and detaining hundreds of suspected ISIL members as well as sympathizers.
Western nations, particularly United States, have welcomed the declaration of the anti-terrorism alliance and promised its full support to defeat the notorious enemies in the region. IMAGE/AP