In a primetime speech on Wednesday night, President Obama vowed to defeat ISIS as he authorized additional military action against the terrorist group in Syria. Obama had previously ordered over 150 airstrikes against ISIS throughout Iraq. Obama claims he will fight ISIS wherever they are at.
"I have made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are," he said. "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."
According to several recent polls, Americans fear that ISIS has become a major threat and the majority of the American public supports military action against the group.
President Obama stated that an additional 475 military advisors would be deployed to Iraq as part of the mission. He remains adamant that he is not interested in putting "boots on the ground" to engage in combat. The troops are in Iraq for the sole purpose of supporting Iraqi troops and protecting American interests in Iraq.
Claiming that America is strongest when Congress works together, Obama offered he is very much interested in support from Congress in regards to the military action but also claimed he does not necessarily need authorization to authorize such strikes.
Succumbing to apparent pressure from both sides of the isle, Obama decided to support arming the Free Syrian Army. Obama unilaterally rejected arming the rebel forces in Syria over a year ago despite the recommendation coming from his National Security team. Obama asked for both funds and authorization to provide weaponry and training to the Free Syrian Army, which has been fighting against ISIS and the Assad regime in Syria.
Obama also announced Secretary of State John Kerry is working on garnering support from a broad coalition to fight against ISIS. Kerry is working to push both Saudi Arabian and Jordan leaders to join forces in the fight against the terrorist group. Saudi Arabia has reportedly been tied to supporting ISIS, financially.
During a near 15-minute speech, Obama did not outline a timeline for the mission and left the breadth of the mission open to more territory than just Iraq and Syria. The end goal of the mission is to utterly destroy the terrorist organization.
"Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy," Obama said.
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