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ISIS Saudi Arabia United Arab Emirates

Arab nations offer to join strikes

14 Sep, 2014

Arab states believed to include the UAE and Saudi Arabia offer to help attack ISIS targets in Syria and Iraq. U.S. official:

There have been offers both to Centcom and to the Iraqis of Arab countries taking more aggressive kinetic action.

U.S. officials decline to say which countries have offered help, but one appears to be the UAE. A senior western official says Saudi Arabia is prepared to act in a frontline role:

There is a very real possibility that we could have the Saudi air force bombing targets inside Syria. That is a remarkable development, and something the U.S. would be very pleased to see.

Another senior official says Saudi Arabia is far more willing to play an open role in the campaign against ISIS than during the 1991 Gulf war and the 2003 invasion of Iraq. In those campaigns it allowed military bases to be used by U.S. forces but did not commit its own forces, but Riyadh now sees ISIS as a direct threat:

They actually see themselves as the real target. “They know that they have to step up, and they are ready to, from what we can see.