King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia warns that the West will be the next target of the jihadists sweeping through Syria and Iraq, unless there is "rapid" action.
The king of Saudi Arabia has warned that extremists could attack Europe and the U.S. if there is not a strong international response to terrorism after the Islamic State group seized a wide territory across Iraq and Syria.
While not mentioning any terrorist groups by name, King Abdullah's statement appeared aimed at drawing Washington and NATO forces into a wider fight against the Islamic State group and its supporters in the region. Saudi Arabia openly backs rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar Assad, but is concerned that the breakaway al-Qaida group could also turn those very same weapons on the kingdom.
"If neglected, I am certain that after a month they will reach Europe and, after another month, America," he said at a reception for foreign ambassadors Friday.Official Saudi media carried the king's comments early Saturday.
"These terrorists do not know the name of humanity and you have witnessed them severing heads and giving them to children to walk with in the street," the king said, urging the ambassadors to relay his message directly to their heads of state.
The Islamic State group has been fighting moderate rebels, other extremists and Assad's forces in Syria for nearly three years. Iraq has faced an onslaught by the Sunni extremists and their supporters since early this year, and the country continues to be roiled by instability.