In the Islamic State video, British journalist John Cantlie explains what he says is the 'truth' about the Islamic State. The video appears to target the war-weary populations of the West, the US and Britain in particular.
Ukrainian President Poroshenko's call for more military and economic aid has won strong backers in Congress, including among Democrats, but President Obama has been wary of offering lethal military aid.
More than three dozen nations have signed on to the anti-Islamic State coalition, US officials say. But Russia and Iran are also likely to play roles, and some Arab countries will prefer to keep quiet about their help.
The ramped-up US sanctions come less than two weeks before President Obama is set to hold a UN Security Council summit on the issue of foreign fighters who aid international security threats like the Islamic State.
President Obama strove to differentiate this new battle with terrorists ‘unique in their brutality’ from the wars he inherited, in particular the war in Iraq. His intervention rationale placed a priority on humanitarian reasons.
With Obama set to lay out his plan to defeat Islamic State militants, Secretary Kerry is recruiting Sunni Arab nations to the cause. The US hopes to avoid the impression it's in a fight with Sunni Islam.
Secretary of State John Kerry faces a tough job crafting a regional coalition to confront the Islamic State extremist group in Iraq and Syria. For one thing, potential coalition partners don't necessarily trust each other – or the US.
Some security experts are cautioning the administration about its anti-Assad stance, even as the US begins surveillance flights over Syria in anticipation of possible expanded US action against the Islamic State.
The talk doesn't mean the US is on the verge of extending its air campaign against Islamic State fighters into Syria, or shifting from an adversarial to cooperative stance with Syrian leader Assad in the interest of defeating IS.
Amid the tensions, the White House announced Friday that President Obama will visit Estonia next month before a NATO summit. The Baltic states are concerned about Russian intentions in light of the Ukraine developments.