As United States military forces continued their attack against militant group Islamic State, or ISIL, officials said more than 150 airstrikes have been conducted across Iraq since last month.
What US President Barack Obama called a “counter-terrorism strategy” on Wednesday was referred to by White House press secretary Josh Earnest as a “war” on Friday.
“In the same way that we are at war with Al-Qaeda and its affiliates around the globe, we are at war with ISIL,” said Earnest.
“But make no mistake when I say we, I’m not talking just about the United States. I’m talking about this broader international coalition that includes Sunni-led governments in the region and our allies around the world,” Earnest continued.
There has been no firm commitment to the military coalition yet from Turkey, even though it shares long borders with both Syria and Iraq, and is one of Washington’s main allies in the region.
Also missing from the list of countries backing the military campaign is Iran.
John Kerry, US Secretary of State explained: “No one has called me and asked me with respect to the presence of Iran, but I think under the circumstances, at this moment in time, it would not be right for any number of reasons.”
One Arab county that is in the coalition, Saudi Arabia, has promised to provide training camps for moderate Sunni fighters from Syria.