A coalition of 41 Muslim-majority nations is working to create a mobile military force to combat the Islamic State (IS) group in Iraq and Syria and militant threats across northern and western Africa, the Newsweek website reports today (April 19, 2017).
The alliance -- known informally as "the Muslim NATO" -- is preparing later this year to hold its first major meeting with defense ministers from across the Muslim world to define its structure and mission.
Saudi Arabia has tapped the former head of Pakistan's army, General Raheel Sharif, to oversee the coalition's forces.
Saudi Arabia is putting in the bulk of the funding, just as U.S. military spending drives NATO's budget. In recent months, however, President Donald Trump has warned European NATO members that the U.S. might become a more reluctant ally if other nations don't increase their NATO spending.