Eric Pfahler / The Denver Channel & RT News & ABC News & The Hill – 2014-09-12 23:30:11
Obama: US Will Hit ISIS ‘Wherever They Exist’
Eric Pfahler / The Denver Channel
(September 10, 2014) — President Barack Obama told Americans he plans for the nation to lead a broad coalition to fight the Islamic State.
“With a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” he said. “Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”
The comments came as part of Obama’s prime-time speech Wednesday to outline his plans to counter the Islamic militants known as the Islamic State, ISIS or ISIL. Obama said the Islamic State is neither Islamic nor a state.
Obama, however, made it clear he does not plan to use American ground troops to fight.
“But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan,” he said. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil. This counter-terrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground.”
Obama said US intelligence has not yet found specific plans to attack in America.
“So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East — including American citizens, personnel and facilities,” he said. “If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region — including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies.”
Obama said the United States will continue to provide humanitarian help to the region.
“This is American leadership at its best,” he said.
Obama said he has the authority to fight ISIS, but he wants Americans to be united and will work with Congress. The president tried to get support from congressional leaders Tuesday, according to The Associated Press.
The Islamic militants, known as ISIS or ISIL, have taken control of large parts of Iraq and Syria. The terrorist organization also has beheaded two American journalists.
According to Reuters, Obama authorized $25 million in immediate military assistance on Wednesday for the Iraqi government and Kurdistan Regional Government.
Eric Pfahler is a national content producer for the Scripps National Desk. Follow him on Twitter @Eric_Pfahler or email him at email@example.com.
Copyright 2014 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved.
Obama Says US Will Bomb ISIL in Syria
(September 11, 2014) — President Barack Obama says the United States is prepared to expand its bombing campaign against ISIL terrorists and launch airstrikes in Syria.
“I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq,” Obama said during a speech delivered from the White House on Wednesday. “America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” he added. The Pentagon announced that the United States already has conducted 154 airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq.
During his speech, the US president outlined Washington’s strategy against the terrorists. “Our objective is clear: We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,” Obama said. “In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape and force women into marriage,” he said.
“They threatened a religious minority with genocide. In acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists — Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff. This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
Meanwhile, President Obama said Washington will train and equip opposition militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad. He vowed to deploy more troops inside Iraq but said the servicemen would be assigned to training and intelligence duties.
He also assured the American people that the new campaign will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and it will not involve combat troops fighting on foreign soil.
“This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. This strategy of taking out terrorists who threaten us, while supporting partners on the front lines, is one that we have successfully pursued in Yemen and Somalia for years,” Obama said.
Obama to Send 475 Additional Troops to Iraq
WASHINGTON (September 10, 2014) — President Barack Obama is sending 475 more US troops into Iraq to supplement an existing American military presence that is helping Iraqi security forces battle Islamic State militants and secure diplomatic facilities. Obama was announcing the additional forces Wednesday as part of an expanded offensive against the Islamic State group in Iraq and in Syria.
The new troops would join more than 1,000 US military personnel in Iraq and would be embedded with Iraqi security forces and help identify targets for US military airstrikes against the extremist group. The US already has more than 750 US military personnel supporting diplomatic security at facilities in Baghdad and nearly 300 at joint operating centers in Baghdad and Irbil (ur-BEEL’).
Remarks of President Barack Obama
Address to the Nation
WASHINGTON, DC (September 10, 2014) — My fellow Americans — tonight, I want to speak to you about what the United States will do with our friends and allies to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL. As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people.
Over the last several years, we have consistently taken the fight to terrorists who threaten our country. We took out Osama bin Laden and much of al Qaeda’s leadership in Afghanistan and Pakistan.
We’ve targeted al Qaeda’s affiliate in Yemen, and recently eliminated the top commander of its affiliate in Somalia. We’ve done so while bringing more than 140,000 American troops home from Iraq, and drawing down our forces in Afghanistan, where our combat mission will end later this year.
Thanks to our military and counterterrorism professionals, America is safer. Still, we continue to face a terrorist threat. We cannot erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm.
That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today. That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge. At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL — which calls itself the “Islamic State.”
Now let’s make two things clear: ISIL is not “Islamic.” No religion condones the killing of innocents, and the vast majority of ISIL’s victims have been Muslim. And ISIL is certainly not a state. It was formerly al Qaeda’s affiliate in Iraq, and has taken advantage of sectarian strife and Syria’s civil war to gain territory on both sides of the Iraq-Syrian border. It is recognized by no government, nor the people it subjugates.
ISIL is a terrorist organization, pure and simple. And it has no vision other than the slaughter of all who stand in its way. In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape, and force women into marriage. They threatened a religious minority with genocide.
In acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists — Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff. So ISIL poses a threat to the people of Iraq and Syria, and the broader Middle East — including American citizens, personnel and facilities.
If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region — including to the United States. While we have not yet detected specific plotting against our homeland, ISIL leaders have threatened America and our allies. Our intelligence community believes that thousands of foreigners — including Europeans and some Americans — have joined them in Syria and Iraq.
Trained and battle-hardened, these fighters could try to return to their home countries and carry out deadly attacks. I know many Americans are concerned about these threats. Tonight, I want you to know that the United States of America is meeting them with strength and resolve. Last month, I ordered our military to take targeted action against ISIL to stop its advances.
Since then, we have conducted more than 150 successful airstrikes in Iraq. These strikes have protected American personnel and facilities, killed ISIL fighters, destroyed weapons, and given space for Iraqi and Kurdish forces to reclaim key territory. These strikes have helped save the lives of thousands of innocent men, women and children.
But this is not our fight alone. American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region. That’s why I’ve insisted that additional US action depended upon Iraqis forming an inclusive government, which they have now done in recent days.
So tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.
First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense.
Moreover, I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.
Second, we will increase our support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground. In June, I deployed several hundred American service members to Iraq to assess how we can best support Iraqi Security Forces.
Now that those teams have completed their work — and Iraq has formed a government — we will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq.
As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission — we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq. But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment. We will also support Iraq’s efforts to stand up National Guard Units to help Sunni communities secure their own freedom from ISIL control.
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