34 Nations come together in Saudi-led Islamic counter-terrorism coalition
Riyadh : Terrorism found a new unity group to counteract its effects as nearly three dozen nations united into a counter-terrorism alliance and pledged to fight against Islamic disgrace which plagues followers of the religion with pure intent and surrender. With a rise in IS nuisance and bad-propaganda of Islam as a religion and Islamic community as a whole, Saudi Arabia has taken the initiative to lead this coalition and express a standpoint on terrorism, with pure intent to fight against it in a collaborative manner.
Saudi Arabia said today that 34 nations have agreed to form a new ‘Islamic military alliance’ to fight terrorism. To be functional under a ‘Joint operations center’ based in the kingdom’s capital, Riyadh, this coalition is poised for coming together of military might and power, in a stand against terrorism. The announcement published by the state-run Saudi Press Agency said the alliance would be Saudi-led and was being established with a uni-directional objective that terrorism should be fought by all means and collaboration should be made to eliminate it. The statement emphasized, Islam forbids ‘corruption and destruction in the world’, adding, terrorism constitutes a serious violation of human dignity and rights, especially the right to life and the right to security.
The new counter-terrorism coalition includes nations with large and established armies such as Pakistan, Turkey and Egypt. It also bring together few war-torn countries with embattled military such as Libya and Yemen. Not leaving aside the African nations that have suffered terrorist attacks, countries in the likes of Mali, Chad, Somalia and Nigeria are also members into it.
However, Saudi Arabia’s regional rival, Shiite Iran, is not part of the coalition. As it is evident, Saudi Arabia and Iran are positioned at opposite sides and extend support to the wars raging in Syria and Yemen, on opposite ends. Saudi Arabia has joined hands with United States of America and is currently leading a military intervention in Yemen against Shiite Houthi rebels and is part of the US-led coalition bombing the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.
Saudi Deputy Crown Prince and Defense Minister Mohammed bin Salman said in a press conference that the new Islamic military coalition would work to counter the Sunni extremist Islamic State group and develop mechanisms for working with other countries and international bodies to support international counter-terrorism efforts. He said — Currently, every Muslim country is fighting terrorism individually … so coordinating efforts is very important.
The nation-count of 34 in this counter-terrorism coalition builds up on support from smaller member-states who are also included in the coalition, namely — the archipelago of the Maldives and the island-nation of Bahrain, and other Gulf Arab countries such as Kuwait, Qatar and the United Arab Emirates.Benin, while it does not have a majority Muslim population, is also a member of this new counter-terrorism coalition.
Notably absent from the list is Saudi Arabia’s neighbor Oman, and also the nations of Iraq and Syria — whose forces are battling to regain territory taken by the Islamic State group and whose governments are allied with Iran are not in the coalition.
The 34 nations who have come together for this coalition are also part of the larger Organization of Islamic Cooperation, which is headquartered in Saudi Arabia.