Saudi Arabia announced on Tuesday the creation of a massive anti-ISIS terror fighting intiative that joins together 34 nations.
Among the nations that have united, Reuters reported: “Egypt, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Turkey, Malaysia, Pakistan and several Gulf Arab and African states.
“The countries here mentioned have decided on the formation of a military alliance led by Saudi Arabia to fight terrorism, with a joint operations center based in Riyadh to coordinate and support military operations,” said a statement reported by the state news agency SPA.
The countries that united to fight ISIS said in the joint statement they had a “duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations, whatever their sect and name, which wreak death and corruption on Earth and aim to terrorize the innocent.”
Iran, home to predominantly Shiite Muslims – in contrast to Saudi’s Sunni Muslim population – didn’t join the partnership.
Crown prince Mohammed bin Salman, who also serves as the defense minister, said in a press conference that efforts would “coordinate” counterterrorism battles in Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan.
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“There will be international coordination with major powers and international organizations … in terms of operations of Syria and Iraq,” he said, Reuters reported. “We can’t undertake these operations without coordinating with legitimacy in this place and the international community.”
ISIS has vowed to take over the Gulf nations and have been launching attacks on Shiite Muslim mosques and against security officials in Kuwait and Saudi.