U.S., Britain challenge NATO to meet ISIL crisis

A meeting of NATO leaders convened in Britain today facing no shortage of crises and a challenge from two of its dominant partners to confront a virulent new form of Islamic extremism in the Middle East.

NEWPORT — A meeting of NATO leaders convened in Britain today facing no shortage of crises and a challenge from two of its dominant partners to confront a virulent new form of Islamic extremism in the Middle East.

Both U.S. President Barack Obama and British Prime Minister David Cameron called on the 28-member military alliance to deal with the emerging threat posed by the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant, an al-Qaida splinter group.

“We meet here at a solemn moment for our alliance and the security of our nations,” Cameron said at the opening of the summit, being held on a rolling golf resort in this sea-side Welsh community.

“We meet at a crucial time in the history of our alliance. The world faces many dangerous and evolving threats and it is absolutely clear that NATO is as vital to our future as it has been in our past.”

Even the brush fire war in eastern Ukraine and a resurgent Russia seemed to be eclipsed by the growing concern over ISIL, whose ranks of hardened fighters have been bolstered by hundreds of westerners from Britain, Canada and the United States.

The urgency is propelled by horrific Internet images of beheaded journalists and reports of atrocities in Syria and northern Iraq, as well as the fear that foreign fighters could return home to continue their war in the West.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry convened a meeting of possible coalition partners, who could participate in an expanded bombing campaign and humanitarian relief operation.

Notably absent from the meeting was Canada’s foreign affairs minister, John Baird, who was in Iraq meeting members of the new government and Kurdish leaders who’ve shouldered the bulk of the ground fighting along with elements of the Iraqi Army.

Cameron left little doubt that Britain and the U.S. are counting on NATO to step up.

“NATO is the anchor of our security and over the next two days, we must reinvigorate and refocus this alliance to tackle new threats and to ensure it continues to foster stability around the world,” he said.

Prime Minister Stephen Harper, who is also attending the summit, made it clear Wednesday, speaking to a British business audience, that Canada is prepared to do more as part of the international effort.

The Canadian air force is currently using two cargo planes to fly arms and ammunition into Iraq.

Just Posted

PHOTOS: Aaron Goodvin sings at Westerner Days

Aaron Goodvin performed at Westerner Days Wednesday.… Continue reading

Severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Central Alberta

There’s a severe thunderstorm watch in effect for Red Deer and the… Continue reading

WATCH: Sun shines on Red Deer’s Westerner Days parade

George Young has been a Westerner Days parade marshal for about 28… Continue reading

Central Alberta receives funding for regional emergency training

Alberta Municipal Affairs announces $160,000 for training on top of $40,000 previously received

WATCH: Global FMX at Westerner Days

There are three freestyle motocross shows a day at Westerner Park this week

Study links air pollution to drop in national park visitors

DENVER — Visitors appear to be steering clear of some U.S. national… Continue reading

Banff’s bathroom bears returned to the park after 15 months of rehab in Ontari

Three cubs found abandoned in a washroom along the Trans-Canada Highway in… Continue reading

Canada could get caught in cross-fire of U.S. uranium investigation

Canada could get caught in the crossfire after the U.S. Department of… Continue reading

Trudeau shuffles familiar faces, adds new ones to expanded cabinet

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has unveiled his pre-election cabinet, shuffling… Continue reading

Canada’s premiers meet Indigenous groups, although three major groups decline

BOUCTOUCHE, N.B. — Canada’s premiers are meeting with Indigenous organizations in New… Continue reading

An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle

OTTAWA — An updated list of federal cabinet ministers following Wednesday’s shuffle,… Continue reading

Most Read


Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $185 for 260 issues (must live in delivery area to qualify) Unlimited Digital Access 99 cents for the first four weeks and then only $15 per month Five-day delivery plus unlimited digital access for $15 a month