US President Announces Plan to Combat Islamic State
US president Barack Obama has announced a sustained, US-led effort to combat the Islamic State, which would include action in Syria.
The plan includes a widened bombing campaign and more training for regional forces hostile to ISIS. It involves sending 475 US military personnel in non-combat roles in addition to the 300 advisers dispatched in June to train Iraqi and Kurdish forces to fight the Islamic State.
“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,” Obama said in his 15-minute address from the White House, as quoted by the BBC.
“Our objective is clear: We will degrade and ultimately destroy [IS] through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy… 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.”
No American troops will be involved in direct combat against ISIS on the ground, Obama reaffirmed: “But I want the American people to understand how this effort will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil.”
Since early August, the US has conducted two humanitarian operations and 154 strikes against the IS militants, in the north of the country hitting 212 targets, according to the Department of Defense.
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