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Obama confronts multiple crises at UN meetings

Posted at 5:23 AM, Sep 23, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-23 05:20:43-04

NEW YORK (AP) — For President Barack Obama, the participation of five Arab nations in airstrikes against militants in Syria marks an unexpected foreign policy victory as he plunges the U.S. deeper into a military conflict in the Middle East that he has reluctantly embraced.

The U.S. announced the strikes hours before Obama was due to arrive in New York for three days of talks with foreign leaders at the annual United Nations General Assembly.

The cooperation by Arab partners provided a significant boost to Obama's efforts to build an international coalition to take on the Islamic State militants who have moved freely across the border between Iraq and Syria.

U.S. officials said Bahrain, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Jordan and the United Arab Emirates participated in the airstrikes Monday against Islamic State targets in Syria.