Amb Power: We Will Not Do the Airstrikes in Syria Alone

Amb Power: We Will Not Do the Airstrikes in Syria Alone

On this weekend’s broadcast of ABC’s “This Week,” U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Samantha Power laid out the United States’ tentative strategy in attacking ISIS with air strikes.

Power explained what the ultimate objective was but said she did not see the United States flying solo with its effort and also added the United States would not be working along side Iran.

Partial transcript as follows:

STEPHANOPOULOS; You talk about the support that Secretary Kerry demonstrated at that security council meeting. And there has been a fair amount of rhetorical support. But have any nations yet agreed to join those airstrikes against Syria?

POWER: First of all, France for the first time carried out airstrikes…

STEPHANOPOULOS: In Iraq.

POWER: Indeed. We have not carried out airstrikes in Syria. And it will be up to each country to announce for itself whether it’s prepared to participate whether in a combat role or to provide military equipment.

I think it’s really important, not withstanding the emphasis on the military effort, which gets of course the most attention, to look at this as the multi-faceted comprehensive campaign that it is. President Obama will come on Wednesday and will convene a very unusual head of state summit on the issue of foreign terrorist fighters to try to stop the financing to terrorists in places like Iraq and Syria to counter violent extremism, to involve civil society and clerics and others in de-legitimating the messages the ISIL and others are putting forward. So we’ve got to look at this across the spectrum. And as Secretary Kerry said on Friday as the president has made clear, every country can contribute something to this effort. And there’s universal support, I think, for degrading and destroying this group.

STEPHANOPOULOS: But we might have to do the airstrikes alone. Not even Great Britain has said they’re going to join the airstrikes.

POWER: I will make you prediction, George, which is that we will not do the airstrikes alone if the president decides to do the airstrikes.

STEPHANOPOULOS: We will come back and watch that. Secretary Kerry also said that there is a role for nearly every country in the world to play here, including Iran. What is the role you expect Iran to play?

POWER: Let me be clear, we are not coordinating with Iran. We are not sharing intelligence with Iran. Iran has said that ISIL is its enemy, but by the same token Iran has supported Hezbollah and the Assad regime, a Assad regime that has not targeted ISIL with any sincerity or intensity over the years and indeed has been complicit receiving oil revenue from ISIL or buying oil from ISIL when they take over the fields.

So, Assad is not a reliable partner in the fight against ISIL for us. And we would urge Iran actually to use its leverage over that regime in order to change its tactics and bring about the political solution we need to really get at one of the root causes of this crisis.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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