US Secretary of State John Kerry on Wednesday urged NATO allies to intensify the fight against the Islamic State as Washington leads the military campaign against the extremist group.
“I called on every NATO ally to step up support in the fight against Daesh (IS), striking at the organisation’s core in Syria and Iraq,” Kerry said after a meeting of foreign ministers from the 28 NATO states in Brussels.
“A number of allies are already bringing more to this battle or are planning to increase their contributions,” he said.
Kerry also praised British Prime Minister David Cameron as Britain’s parliament looked set to vote in favour of joining the US-led bombing campaign against IS in Syria. Britain’s attacks are currently limited to Iraq.
“We are very pleased with efforts by prime minister Cameron to go to parliament,” Kerry said. “It is a very important step. We applaud his leadership.”
Kerry meanwhile played down any threat from NATO to Russia, which is also carrying out its own air campaign against jihadists in Syria but had one of its warplanes shot down by NATO member Turkey in November.
Russia and NATO have been at loggerheads on a series of issues on their borders in recent years including the conflict in Ukraine and Moscow’s support for Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
“NATO is a defensive alliance that has existed for 70 years,” he said.
“NATO is a not a threat to anybody … not an offensive organisation, not focused on Russia per se. I would say to Russia and any other country — this is not focused on them specifically.”