New Iraq coalition not a 2003 redux, US insists

An Iraqi Peshmerga fighter scans the area as he holds a position at a post near the jihadist-held city of Zumar in Mosul province on September 4, 2014US plans to forge a coalition to defeat Islamic militants are not modeled on the global front brought together for the heavily-criticized 2003 invasion of Iraq, American officials insisted Friday. “When we talk about what we are doing today, in no way do we want to resemble anything that was done in 2003 in the invasion of Iraq,” State Department deputy spokeswoman Marie Harf told reporters. US President Barack Obama said Friday he was confident he could gather a broad international coalition to defeat Islamic State extremists, after two days of talks at a NATO summit in Wales. Following the beheading of two US journalists by the Islamic State, which has overrun swathes of northern Iraq and Syria, Obama said there was “unanimity” among NATO members that the group “poses a significant threat.”

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