Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC). The Islamic / Muslim NATO is now in Mexico, Latin America, Separatist Europe, Philippines and Southeast Asia Pacific

Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC). The Islamic / Muslim NATO is now in Mexico, Latin America, Separatist Europe, Philippines and Southeast Asia Pacific

DOKANG

The Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition (IMCTC) (Arabic: التحالف الإسلامي العسكري لمحاربة الإرهاب‎), and also formerly referred to as the Islamic Military Alliance to Fight Terrorism (IMAFT), is an intergovernmental counter-terrorist alliance of countries in the Muslim world, united around military intervention against ISIL and other counter-terrorist activities.[1][2] Its creation was first announced by the then Saudi Arabian defence minister Mohammad bin Salman Al Saud, on 15 December 2015.[3][4] The alliance was to have a joint operations center in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia.[5]

Islamic Military Counter Terrorism Coalition
التحالف الإسلامي العسكري لمحاربة الإرهاب
IMCTC logo 2017.png

Current logo of the IMCTC
Islamic Military Alliance.svg

  Founding members
  Additional members
  Former members
Formation December 15, 2015; 2 years ago
Type Military alliance
Legal status Active
Purpose Anti-terrorism
Headquarters Riyadh, Saudi Arabia
Location
Region
Muslim world
Membership
Official language
English, Arabic, French
Raheel Sharif (Pakistan)
Website imctc.org

When the coalition was announced there were 34 members. Additional countries joined and the number of members reached 41 when Oman joined in December 2016.[6] On 6 January 2017, the Pakistani former chief of Army Staff, General (retd.) Raheel Sharif was named the IMCTC’s first commander-in-chief.[7][8] Most of its participants are members of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation.

History and objectives

The IMCTC has stated that its primary objective is to protect Muslim countries from all terrorist groups and terrorist organizations irrespective of their sect and name.[9][10][11] The IMCTC affirmed that it would operate in line with the United Nations and Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) provisions on terrorism.[12]

At the press conference to launch the IMCTC, Mohammad bin Salman said it would “coordinate” efforts to fight terrorism in Iraq, Syria, Libya, Egypt and Afghanistan. He said, “There will be international coordination with major powers and international organisations … in terms of operations in Syria and Iraq.”[13]

To date, all members are countries with Sunni-dominated governments. The alliance does not include any countries with Shia-dominated governments, such as Iran, Iraq and Syria.[14] According to a Euronews report, some analysts see formation of the alliance as part of Saudi Arabian efforts to take the leading role in the Middle East and the Muslim world, in rivalry with Iran.[15]

In March 2016 it was reported that Saudi Arabia had asked General Raheel Sharif, Pakistan’s Chief of Army Staff, to become commander-in-chief of the Islamic Military Alliance once he had retired from the Pakistan Army at the end of 2016.[16]

Members

Saudi Arabia’s original announcement of the alliance on 15 December 2015 listed 34 countries as participants,[1] each also a member of the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC), and forming about 60% of all OIC member states. As of November, 2017, there are 41 member countries.[17]

Country Membership announcement Military roleα Supporter References
 Afghanistan 18 October 2016 Yes Yes [18]
 Bahrain Original Yes Yes [19]
 Bangladesh Original Yes Yes [5][20][21]
 Benin Original N/A N/A
 Brunei
 Burkina Faso
 Chad Original Yes Yes
 Comoros Original N/A N/A
 Cote d’Ivoire Original N/A N/A
 Djibouti Original N/A N/A
 Egypt Original Yes Yes [5]
 Gabon Original N/A N/A
 Gambia
 Guinea Original N/A N/A
 Guinea-Bissau
 Jordan Original Yes Yes [5]
 Kuwait Original Yes Yes
 Lebanon Original N/A Yes
 Libya Original Yes Yes [22]
 Malaysia Original Yes Yes [23]
 Maldives Original N/A N/A
 Mali Original N/A N/A
 Mauritania Original Yes Yes
 Morocco Original Yes Yes
 Niger Original Yes Yes
 Nigeria Original Yes Yes [22]
 Oman 28 December 2016 Yes Yes [6][24]
 Pakistan Original Yes Yes [25][26][27][28]
 Palestine Original N/A N/A
 Qatar Original N/A N/A
 Saudi Arabia Original Yes Yes [29][30][13]
 Senegal Original Yes N/A
 Sierra Leone Original N/A N/A
 Somalia Original Yes Yes
 Sudan Original Yes Yes
 Togo Original N/A N/A
 Tunisia Original Yes Yes
 Turkey Original Yes Yes [22]
 Uganda
 United Arab Emirates Original Yes Yes [citation needed]
 Yemen Original Yes Yes
These countries have offered to provide military assistance if needed.

Prospective additional members

At the time of the original announcement, more than ten other Islamic countries, including Indonesia (the world’s largest Muslim nation), had expressed their support for the alliance,[1] and Azerbaijan was discussing joining the alliance.[31][32][33] By January 2017, Azerbaijan said that joining was “not on the agenda”.[34] Tajikistan’s ambassador to Saudi Arabia confirmed that Tajikistan was seriously studying the possibility of joining.[35][36]

Commanders-in-Chief

Force commander Nationality Start of tenure End of tenure
General Raheel Shareef  Pakistan 6 January 2017 Incumbent

Raheel Sharif as Commander-in-Chief is appointed to head a Saudi-led alliance of Muslim countries.[37][38]

Reactions

 Bangladesh: Bangladesh was one of the early members to join the alliance doing so on 15 December 2015. The country confirmed its membership in a joint statement by the founder nations that stated “a duty to protect the Islamic nation from the evils of all terrorist groups and organizations whatever their sect and name which wreak death and corruption on earth and aim to terrorize the innocent.”[39][40][41] However, Bangladesh may only dispatch troops to protect two holiest sites of Islam in Mecca and Medina.[42]

 China: China was expressed its willingness to cooperate with the alliance to fighting terrorism and appreciated Saudi efforts to create alliance.[43]

 Egypt: Egypt’s Al-Azhar University called the alliance’s formation “historic.”[44]

 Germany: Germany’s defense minister Ursula von der Leyen welcomed the alliance against terrorism but also stressed that it should be a part of the Vienna process involving all countries fighting against IS like the U.S., Europe, Russia, Turkey, Saudi Arabia, but also including Iran and China.[45]

 Malaysia: Malaysian Defence Minister Hishammuddin Hussein expressed support for the alliance, but ruled out any military support from Malaysia.[23]

 Pakistan: After initial ambiguity Pakistan welcomed the initiative; its government confirmed its participation and stated that the country is waiting for further details in order to decide the extent of its participation in the different activities of the alliance. Although the Commander in Chief of the IMCTC, Gen Raheel Sharif only agreed to command upon the condition that Iran must be the part of this Alliance.[27]

 Turkey: Turkey’s Prime Minister Ahmet Davutoğlu called it the “best response to those who are trying to associate terror and Islam”.

 United States: The new alliance has been welcomed by the United States, with then U.S. Secretary of Defense Ash Carter saying, “We look forward to learning more about what Saudi Arabia has in mind in terms of this coalition. But in general it appears it is very much in line with something we’ve been urging for quite some time, which is greater involvement in the campaign to combat ISIL by Sunni Arab countries.[4][13]

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ISIS (ISIL/IS) or Islamic State or Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America, Americas and Europe

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America, Americas and Europe

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America, Americas and Europe

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America, Americas and Europe

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America, Americas and Europe

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America, Americas and Europe

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America

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ISIS Islamic State (ISIL/IS) Daesh, Al Qaeda, Islam and Muslims in Mexico and Latin America, Americas and Europe

Criticism

Due to the dominance of the alliance by states having majority Sunni Muslim populations, it has been called “a sectarian coalition” by Hakeem Azameli, a member of the Security and Defense Commission in the Iraqi parliament.[22][15][14]

However, Oman, an Ibadi-dominant country and friend of Iran has joined the alliance. Lebanon has also supported the alliance. Other countries who are part of the alliance or support it that have cordial or friendly relations with Iran include Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Kuwait, Libya, Pakistan and Indonesia. More likely, the absence of Iran and Iraq from the alliance is due to the political tension between Saudi Arabia and Iran.[46]

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