Tunisia joins international anti-IS coalition alongside Malaysia and Nigeria

Tunisia joins international anti-IS coalition alongside Malaysia and Nigeria
Tunisia and two other countries have joined the international coalition against Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, US President Obama said, following an announcement by Tunisia's premier at the UN.
2 min read
01 October, 2015
The Tunisian army and security forces have been battling radical Islamic terrorists at home [Anadolu]

Tunisian Prime Minister Habib Essid announced that Tunisia will join the US-led international coalition against the Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS), as part of the government's efforts to fight "terrorism and extremism".

Tunisia is willing to participate actively, wherever resources are available within the appropriate framework for joint action and collective commitment against violent extremism, said the Prime Minister in his address before the 70th UN General Assembly, which he delivered Tuesday on behalf of the Tunisian president.

The North African country was rocked by formidable terrorist attacks over the past year in Tunis and Sousse, killing scores of tourists.

Tunisia has also been battling terrorists along its border with Algeria and Libya.

Tunisia has been strengthening its anti-terror laws and has created new security and military intelligence agencies to deal with the terrorist threats.

It has also introduced travel bans on suspected terrorists and is presently developing a national strategy against terrorism.

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It is unclear if Tunisia will participate in the airstrikes launched by the coalition against IS. It is worth mentioning that thousands of Tunisians have joined the ranks of jihadi groups in Syria and Iraq, including IS and al-Nusra Front.

Tunisia's decision to join the international coalition was welcomed by President Obama.

Earlier this year, the United States granted Tunisia non-NATO ally status.

"The United States established and is leading a coalition of more than 60 partners committed to degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL (IS), and today welcomed new coalition members Malaysia, Nigeria, and Tunisia to join those efforts," Obama said.

Obama's announcement came during a counter-terrorism summit on Wedensday, held on the sidelines of the UN General Assembly meetings in New York.

"Ultimately I am optimistic, in Iraq and in Syria ISIL (IS) is surrounded by communities, countries and a broad international coalition committed to its destruction," he said.

"We see that ISIL can be defeated on the battle field where there is sound organisation and a government and military coordinating with this coalition, and our diplomatic efforts," he added