Aug 28, 2014
'Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won’t be easy, and it won't be quick," Obama said.
WASHINGTON: President Obama has begun to seek and mobilize allies for possible US action in Syria and Northern Iraq even as reports emerged of an American jihadi dying in Syria fighting for extremists, coincidentally at the same time an Indian jihadi was also reported killed in the region.
The American, Douglas McCain, was an African-American malcontent from Minneapolis who had converted to Islam and signed up with extremist forces in Syria. He is one of scores of American who have done so over the past year, terrifying Washington that they may return to the US mainland to launch attacks at home.
McCain was reportedly killed in an internecine militants' fight near Aleppo, but the incident has galvanized the Obama administration into reminding Americans that the country cannot afford to take a hands off approach to the messy quagmire many are reluctant to return to. To make it more palatable domestically, Washington is returning to the old formula of seeking allies.
President Obama indicated as much on Tuesday when he told a meeting of the American Legion that the US was building a coalition to "take the fight to these barbaric terrorists," and that the militants would be no match for a united international community. ''Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won't be easy, and it won't be quick," Obama said, preparing Americans for a possible incremental involvement that is expected to begin with airstrikes.
Separately, administration officials are telling the media in background briefings that Washington is reaching out Australia, Britain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates to provide support for potential US operations.
Douglas McAuthur McCain, 33, of New Hope, Minnesota died in a battle between rival extremist groups in the suburbs of Aleppo. (Reuters Photo)