President Barack Obama addressed the United Nations on Wednesday, facing the tough task of selling world leaders on a new war against terrorism.
Nearly 140 heads of state are gathered in New York this week and Obama’s goal is to convince them to join the fight against terrorist groups like the Islamic State (aka ISIL or ISIS) in the Middle East.
Currently, more than 50 countries have pledged support in the fight against ISIL, according to the State Department. This includes everyone from strong allies like Canada and Britain to countries like Morocco and Ukraine.
“The only language understood by killers like this is the language of force. So the United States of America will work with a broad coalition to dismantle this network of death,” Obama said Wednesday.
However, only a handful participated in air strikes in Iraq and Syria. Late Monday, the United States and five Arab countries—Bahrain, Jordan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates—were involved in military strikes against ISIL and Khorasan Group targets inside Syria.
France’s military struck ISIL targets in Iraq last week, but ruled out further air strikes in Syria. The United Kingdom, which has worked with the U.S. military in humanitarian missions in Iraq, has so far declined to take military action in Iraq or Syria. This might soon change: lawmakers in London could vote this week on a measure authorizing the British government to undertake air strikes.