Barack Obama warns Islamic State leaders
Barack Obama warns Islamic State leaders: ‘You are next’
WASHINGTON 15 December,2015: President Barack Obama on Monday said the US-led coalition is making progress against Islamic State militants in both Iraq and Syria, as he delivered an update on the campaign aimed at reassuring Americans worried about the spread of extremism-fueled terrorism.
“We are hitting ISIL harder than ever,” Obama said, using the shorthand for the Islamic State group. Obama said airstrikes had increased and the coalition had successfully knocked out key figures in the group’s leadership “one by one.”
“The point is, ISIL leaders cannot hide and our next message to them is simple: ‘You are next.”‘ Obama said.
The tough talk came after Obama met with his top national security advisers at the Pentagon, part of weeklong push to explain his strategy for stopping the Islamic State group abroad and its sympathizers at home. Obama is also slated to attend a briefing at the National Counterterrorism Center later in the week.
After a series of setbacks, the US and its coalition partners have claimed progress recently in wresting back territory from IS and eliminating some of its key leaders in Syria and Iraq. The military has said hundreds of USairstrikes in recent days dealt a major blow to IS ranks in the western Iraqi city of Ramadi, which IS seized in May.
But progress in Ramadi, as elsewhere, has been slow, leading to calls in the US and abroad for a tougher US response. Aside from authorizing a small number of special forces, Obama has insisted he won’t budge from his determination not to send in major US ground forces.
Flanked by top military brass, Obama offered some of the first public details about the status of those special forces, ordered before the recent attacks in California and Paris. He said special forces in Syria had started their work helping local groups cut off IS supply lines and put pressure on Raqqa, the unofficial capital of Islamic State group’s “caliphate.”
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