(MENAFN - Kuwait News Agency (KUNA)) While the Pentagon is preparing options to accomplish the mission of destroying the Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), the mission also "requires a stable, new, inclusive government in Iraq, which we are hopeful will be in place next week," US Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said on Wednesday.
"It is the people of Iraq, the people of the Middle East, that will make their ultimate decisions and determine their future. We can support them," Hagel said in a CNN interview at the Naval War College in Newport, Rhode Island. The mission includes bringing together a group of "like-minded countries that appreciate the threat that ISIL represents to all of us," including France, Britain, Canada, Australia, Albania and others, Hagel said.
The Obama administration is also consulting with the U.S. Congress on "authorizations, airstrikes, budget issues" to deal with ISIL, Hagel said.
Asked if part of the strategy against ISIL includes military strikes inside Syria, Hagel said: "That is an option, and we are looking at all those options." However, airstrikes alone will not accomplish the mission, Hagel said, adding: "This is a larger dimension of many pieces." "One is a functional, credible, trustworthy, inclusive Iraqi government that is being formed now, (and) coalition partners building coalitions in that area so everybody has a role, and everybody can participate, and we are making good progress on that," he added.