In his weekly radio address, U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and a broad coalition of nations are coming together to combat the threat posed by Islamic State. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. President Barack Obama said the world is uniting against the threat posed by Islamic State (IS) fighters and he will use the upcoming United Nations General Assembly to continue to "rally the world" against the militant group. "Because we're leading the right way, more nations are joining our coalition. Over 40 countries have offered to help the broad campaign against ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant) so far, " Obama said in his weekly radio address on Saturday (September 20). "This week, at the United Nations, I'll continue to rally the world against this threat," he added. The president is scheduled to attend the annual gathering of world leaders at the U.N. General Assembly next week where Islamic State is expected to be one of the key topics of discussion. He is slated to give a speech to the world body on Wednesday (September 24). "We'll lead a broad coalition of nations who have a stake in this fight. This isn't America versus ISIL. This is the people of that region versus ISIL. It's the world versus ISIL." On Thursday (September 18) the Senate voted 78-22 to approve Obama's plan to help the Syrian rebels battle the Sunni militant group that has seized areas of Iraq and Syria. The House of Representatives gave its approval on Wednesday. Obama said that more than 40 countries, including Arab nations, had offered assistance as part of the coalition against Islamic State. He noted that France has joined in launching air strikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq. "This is an effort that America has the unique ability to lead. When the world is threatened; when the world needs help; it calls on America," added Obama. Islamic State fighters, who have controlled much of Syria's eastern oil and agricultural provinces for more than a year, swept through mainly Sunni Muslim regions of north Iraq in mid-June, seizing cities including Mosul and Tikrit and halting only a few dozen miles (km) north of the capital Baghdad. Iraq's army and Shi'ite militia forces have battled the Islamic State and other Sunni militants, but failed to make significant territorial gains. Washington launched air strikes for the first time in August to halt the IS advance on the Kurdish autonomous capital Arbil. Since then it has tried to build an international coalition to destroy the radical Sunni Muslim group.