President Barack Obama announced Wednesday his plan to combat ISIS. Actions will include U.S. air strikes and supporting existing forces on the ground.
The group is unique in its brutality, he said, targeting women, children, journalists and religious minorities.
So far, thousands of would-be terrorists from around the world - including Europe and the U.S. - have joined ISIS, he said. Any of them could attempt to return to their homes and carry out attacks.
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.
His strategy was made up of four parts.
1. U.S. airstrikes: Obama said such attacks have already been successful against al-Qaeda in Iraq, Yemen and Somalia.
2. Support to foreign ground forces: He vowed to send 475 more U.S. troops to Iraq to support local security forces as well as provide military equipment and training to Syrian rebels.
3. Counterterrorism: The U.S. will work with allies on intelligence and programs to prevent foreign fighters from joining ISIS.
4. Humanitarian assistance: Aid will go to Muslim, Christian and religious minorities in danger of being driven out of their homes by ISIS.
He stressed the strategy was different than the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
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. 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. 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.
The actions are America’s duty, he said.
This is American leadership at its best: we stand with people who fight for their own freedom; and we rally other nations on behalf of our common security and common humanity.
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