Obama: We’ll ‘Destroy’ ISIS

(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)
Posted September 5, 2014 at 1:02pm

In his harshest words to date, President Barack Obama vowed to “destroy” the terrorist group ISIS, also known as the Islamic State or ISIL.  

“We are going to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL, the same way we have gone after al-Qaida,” he said.  

Obama said NATO allies unanimously backed the need to take action against the group, and talked of a new phase of the United States’ effort to extend efforts beyond the more than 100 airstrikes launched in Iraq so far. That includes bolstering Iraq’s military and the Kurdish Peshmerga forces as well as appealing to Sunni tribes to reject ISIS. Obama explicitly rejected the idea that the group can be contained. “The goal has to be to dismantle them,” he said.  

He did not address the issue of seeking congressional authorization — something he said last week would be putting the “cart before the horse” because he didn’t have a strategy yet. That strategy now appears to be coming together.  

But he also said that U.S. ground forces would not be fighting the group in Syria.