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Chinamasa Says Middle East Conflict to Hurt Zimbabwe

A price sign at a fuel station in London, Friday, April, 28, 2006 offering a litre of unleaded petrol at 98.9 pence (US$ 1.77 - euro 1.42) and a litre of diesel at 101.9 pence (US$ 1.84 - euro 1.46). The average prices of both unleaded petrol and diesel

United States President Barack Obama has proposed an expanded military campaign targeting the extremist group, the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) which has shocked the world by posting videos of its fighters beheading hostages.

Mr. Obama faced America and the world Wednesday night at the White House in Washington and vowed to defeat the terror group.

Washington has been conducting airstrikes in Iraq and Mr. Obama says with congressional support he will expand the airstrikes to Damascus.

At the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) Summit last week, Mr. Obama got the backing of about a dozen countries which agreed to work together on intelligence, logistics and other aspects of the fight.

But Mr. Obama said he will not engage in a full-scale war as the U.S did in Iraq and Afghanistan.

He said his strategy will be a counter-terrorism campaign similar to operations in Somalia and Yemen where drones have been used to surgically target alleged terrorists.

Reacting to the escalation of war, Zimbabwe Finance Minister Patrick Chinamasa, who delivered the country’s mid-term monetary policy in parliament Thursday, said it will affect ordinary Zimbabweans as the cost of fuel will rise.

Chinamasa said, “Geo-political tensions in the Middle East are expected to affect oil production and, hence, pushing oil prices from an average of US$104.1 in 2013 to US$106.1 per barrel.”

Military strategist, retired Zimbabwe Defence Forces officer and assistant professor at the University of South Africa, Martin Rupiya, told VOA Studio 7 that Mr. Obama’s strategy of not putting boots on the ground might not be effective.