On Monday, United States officials met with representatives from Britain, France, Saudi Arabia, Egypt and the United Emirates in Kuwait City to discuss the current operation against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS).
The U.S. encouraged its coalition partners to increase the fight against the Islamic State militants’ presence on the Internet, and to further combat the recruitment campaigns and other propaganda spread by the group through social networking sites such as YouTube and Twitter.
According to RT, ISIS has “embraced online media as a place to recruit people and spread their propaganda worldwide,” by releasing videos such as the one titled “There Is No Life Without Jihad,” which “allegedly shows a line-up of militants who came to Syria and later to Iraq from all over the world.”
The coordinator of the operation against ISIS, retired U.S. General John Allen, said that the group is using a “horrendous brand of warfare,” which “recruits and perverts the innocent.
According to Allen, the only way to defeat the group is to “deny the legitimacy of the message it sends to vulnerable young people.”
“I strongly encourage participants to set forth tangible work plans that will directly and rapidly counter ISIL’s propaganda in cyberspace and the press,” said Allen, using an alternative acronym to describe the group.
Yahoo News reported that, “concern is growing over the group’s online influence in attracting foreign fighters and promoting attacks by disaffected Muslims on Western targets.”
The Undersecretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, Richard Stengel, highlighted the need for an “information battlefield,” to aid the campaign against ISIS.
“Whatever we do collectively on the battlefield needs to be amplified on the information battlefield,” said Stengel.
Following the meeting in Kuwait City, the coalition partners released a joint statement saying that they had discussed ways to strengthen the resistance against ISIS, which included “actively opposing the recruitment of foreign fighters and encouraging important religious and social leaders, opinion makers, and the millions of young people who oppose violent extremism to raise their voices through traditional and social media.“