U.S. President Barack Obama declared on Wednesday night that Washington will form a broad coalition to combat the Islamic State (IS).
In a speech to the nation regarding the threat from the terrorist group, Obama said that “the greatest threat comes from Middle East and North Africa, one of them is Islamic State.”
IS is “not Islamic...no religion condones the killing of innocents...and they’re certainly not a state,” he added.
He further noted that the airstrikes he recently approved against IS targets in Iraq have protected American interests, killed members of IS and have helped the Iraqi government regain territories taken by IS.
“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, [IS] through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy,” said Obama.
"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 [IS] in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven," declared Obama.
“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 [IS] wherever they exist using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground,” said Obama.
“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,” he noted.