Target IS: Obama authorises expanding air strikes into Syria

US to expand strikes on Islamic StateTargeting the emerging terrorist group The Islamic State (IS), US President Barak Obama has authorised military strikes against the dreaded militants and announced that he will not hesitate to go after them “wherever they are.”

Speaking on national television on September 10, US President Barak Obama announced he has authorised an open-ended bombing campaign against IS militants that will extend into Syria for the first time.  He also made it clear that he planned to expand strikes in Iraq, and dispatch a contingent of around 500 more US troops to assist Iraqi security forces. The US had begun air strikes against the IS, which is variously known as ISIS (Islamic State in Iraq and Syria) and ISIL (Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant) in Iraq on August 8.

As a symbolic gesture, this announcement was made on the eve of the 13th anniversary of September 11, 2003 attacks on the US.

Besides the air strikes, Obama said that he would also increase support for all allied ground forces fighting against the ISIS, except the forces of Syrian President Bassar al-Assad.

“In the fight against ISIL (IS’s former name), we cannot rely on an Assad regime that terrorises its people: a regime that will never regain the legitimacy it has lost,” said Obama.

 The US also plans to cut off the IS’ funding and help shrink the flow of fighters into the Middle East.

However, Obama cautioned that this is not the US’ fight alone, and that the world needs to form a coalition to fight the surge of the Islamic State.

“This is not our fight alone,” adding: “American power can make a decisive difference, but we cannot do for Iraqis what they must do for themselves, nor can we take the place of Arab partners in securing their region.”

On the side-lines of the recent NATO summit in Wales, ten countries — the U.S., U.K., Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Turkey and Canada as well as non-NATO member Australia — decided to form a coalition against the ISIS.

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL (Islamic State) through a comprehensive and sustained air strikes strategy,” added Obama.


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