We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIS through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy, Obama said in his nationally televised speech in which he set no timeline to achieve his goal to defeat the terrorist group.
America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat, he said, noting that the US will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.
More than three dozen countries, in various capacities, have joined the US-led international coalition against ISIS, the terrorist outfit that has gained control over a large part of Iraq and Syria, which is equal in size as that of Britain and poses a threat to the region.
Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions so that were hitting ISIS targets as Iraqi forces go on offense, the president said in his 15-minute speech.
Ive made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country wherever they are, the President said. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIS in Syria as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven, he asserted.
Obama said the US will also increase its support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground and announced his decision to send 475 more military advisers to Iraq.
These additional military advisers will be deployed to Iraq to conduct the following missions: advise and assist the Iraqi Security Forces, conduct intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance flights to increase US capacity to target ISIS, and coordinate activities of US military across Iraq, the Pentagon said.
Once all forces have arrived, the US military will have approximately 1,600 personnel in Iraq.
Working with our partners, we will redouble our efforts to cut off its funding, improve our intelligence, strengthen our defenses, counter its warped ideology and stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East, he said.
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, he said, as he sought to assuage the concerns of people who are wary of a repeat of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.