IS will 'soon' pose threat to US - top general

Washington - The US military's top general believes Islamic State extremists will "soon" pose a threat to America and Europe and that an international coalition will be needed to confront it, his spokesperson said on Monday.

US commanders are preparing possible options to counter IS jihadists both in Iraq as well as Syria, according to General Martin Dempsey's spokesperson, Colonel Ed Thomas.

Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel adopted a more strident tone last week at a Pentagon news conference, suggesting the IS militants presented a dire threat that surpassed the danger posed by the al-Qaeda network.

But Pentagon officials insisted Hagel and Dempsey shared the same views on the IS.

Dempsey "believes that ISIS [Islamic State] is a regional threat that will soon become a threat to the United States and Europe," Thomas said in a statement.

"He [Dempsey] believes that ISIS must be pressured both in Iraq and in Syria," he added.

"He believes that it will be necessary to form a coalition of capable regional and European partners to confront the ISIS threat so that their cloak of religious legitimacy is stripped away."

Dempsey, chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, has consistently portrayed IS as a regional threat that could evolve into a direct threat to the United States and Europe, as foreign fighters with Western passports could try to stage terror attacks.

Preparing options

Dempsey's "current mission is to protect US persons and facilities and that includes, of course, actions necessary to protect the homeland wherever those threats reside," Thomas said.

In consultation with the US Central Command, which oversees American forces in the Middle East, Dempsey "is preparing options to address ISIS both in Iraq and Syria with a variety of military tools including airstrikes," the statement said.

Defeating the jihadists, who have seized territory in Syria and northern and western Iraq, will require "a sustained effort over an extended period of time and much more than just military action," it added.

US aircraft have been carrying out bombing raids in Iraq against the IS militants since 8 August, with most of the nearly 100 strikes targeting jihadists in the north near Mosul dam. Iraqi and Kurdish troops have seized back control of the dam since the air attacks began.

The Obama administration has said all options remain open on potential military strikes in Syria, but there has been no decision to go ahead with bombing the extremists there.

Chris Lombard 2014/08/25 10:26:11 PM
And soon after the US goes on the offensive the international community and the HRW will accuse the US of over aggressive tactics and using disproportionate force against a group who cuts off your head and parades it on you tube.
Jonathan Fisher 2014/08/25 11:07:09 PM
Fighting IS is analogous to playing Monopoly with someone who insists on following the rules of Risk. In other words our western way of doing things is our biggest downfall because it renders us ineffective against players who don't follow 'the rules'. These people are dangerous and as long as Islam exists to inspire harmful radicalism, the war on terror can never end
Billy Hewie 2014/08/25 11:14:54 PM
ISIS actions are pretty disgusting, but what I find more disturbing is that there has been virtually zero condemnation against them from "Moderate Muslims", the only 2 real condemnation I have seen was from the Indonesian president, and 1 Iman in Canada. All other condemnations have a "But" "Because" "Whereas" followed about why ISIS is doing this because of (Evil USA/Israel/Zionism). Thanks ISIS for confirming to me what Islam is actually all about.
Honeya Badger 2014/08/25 11:16:51 PM
Well mr. Top General, you destabilised and turned Iraq into a pile of rubble what were you expecting? Weapons of mass destruction??? That ruble has become a breeding ground for every zealot one can think of. Well there you have it, have your cake and eat it!
Avhashoni Tshatsinde 2014/08/26 01:59:12 AM
Assad said it in 2011 that there was no revolution against his regime but it was terrorism as most in the so-call Free Syria Army were not actually syrians but radical islamists. the west in their quest for regime change and toppling assad supplied these groupings with military hardware and now they (US) r too ashamed to concede that Assad was correct
Rayzor Wire 2014/08/26 07:38:27 AM
whilst I dont support the IS and their terror reign, I think the USA is to blame for any terror attack on their soil. they support, arm and fund terrorist regimes, and wen civilians hav nothing left to lose they direct their hate anger and blame to those responsible, unfortunately some in the form of terrorism. USA is to blame. they created havoc in Iraq Afghanistan Syria and continue to allow havoc yo continue in Israel.
Johnny B Goode 2014/08/26 08:23:09 AM
When the bombing of IS starts, I expect every moderate muslim to moderately raise their voice in moderate support.