The United States strongly condemns the vicious string of suicide, vehicle borne, and other attacks that the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) has perpetrated in Baghdad and surrounding provinces in recent days, taking scores of innocent lives. State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki said, "...Those lost in these attacks include courageous citizens from all walks of life and represent the full diversity of Iraqi society, including Ahmed al-Khafaji, an elected Member of Parliament from Basrah Province, and Major General Ahmed Saddak al-Dulaimi, the Police Chief of Anbar Province. We extend our condolences to the families of the victims and hope for a rapid recovery for those who were injured."
In a statement today, Secretary Kerry said, "Just days after we saw the best of humanity when Malala Yousafzai and Kailash Satyarthi were awarded the Nobel Peace Prize, we again confront the worst of inhumanity in ISIL. No one needed a reminder of ISIL’s depravity and evil. But now we have the latest example.
"ISIL now proudly takes credit for the abduction, enslavement, rape, forced marriage, and sale of several thousand Yezidi and other minority women and girls -- some as young as 12 years old. Just as despicably, ISIL rationalizes its abhorrent treatment of these women and girls by claiming it is somehow sanctioned by religion. Wrong. Dead wrong.
"ISIL does not represent Islam and Islam does not condone or honor such depravity. In fact, these actions are a reminder that ISIL is an enemy of Islam. The international community and religious leaders of all faiths have strongly and repeatedly condemned ISIL’s horrific acts; we urge them to reiterate their commitment by condemning in the strongest possible terms the commodification of women and children as spoils of war, including through their subjection to horrific physical and sexual violence, intimidation, and deprivation of liberty."
To stop ISIL’s campaign of terror and horror against the Syrian and Iraqi people, we remain steadfast in our efforts to lead the international coalition to defeat ISIL. This afternoon, President Barack Obama traveled to Joint Base Andrews, just outside of Washington, D.C., to attend a meeting with military leaders from more than 20 partner nations in the coalition to degrade and destroy ISIL.
In his remarks after the meeting, President Obama said that destroying ISIL will be a "long-term campaign." The President continued, "But our coalition is united behind this long-term effort. Our nations agree that ISIL poses a significant threat to the people of Iraq and Syria. It poses a threat to surrounding countries. And because of the numbers of foreign fighters that are being attracted, and the chaos that ISIL was creating in the region, ultimately it will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States, Europe, and far-flung countries like Australia that have already seen terrorist networks trying to infiltrate and impact population centers on the other side of the world. So we are united in our goal to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL so that it’s no longer a threat to Iraq, to the region, or the international community."
For more information:
- Remarks by President Barack Obama After Meeting with Chiefs of Defense, October 14, 2014
- Statement by Secretary of State John Kerry on ISIL's Dehumanization of Women and Girls, October 14, 2014
- Statement by State Department Spokesperson Jen Psaki on ISIL Attacks in Iraq, October 14, 2014
- President Obama Joins International Military Leaders to Discuss Coalition Efforts Against ISIL, October 14, 2014
- U.S. Military, Partner Nations Conduct Airstrikes Against ISIL in Syria and Iraq, October 14, 2014
- U.S. Department of State: Countering ISIL