The United States military is turning out all the stops in its war against the Islamic State terror group, hitting the jihadi outfit “harder than ever” before, President Obama says in a speech at the Pentagon.
“We are hitting ISIL harder than ever. Coalition aircraft, our fighters, bombers and drones have been increasing the pace of airstrikes, nearly 9,000 as of today,” the President said, asserting the group has lost forty percent of the territory it had secured during its peak reign in areas of Iraq.
The United States will continue to aim fire at the Islamic State’s base of operations, “because as we squeeze its heart, we’ll make it harder for ISIL to pump its terror to the rest of the world,” Obama insisted.
“The point is, ISIL leaders cannot hide, and our message to them is simple: you are next,” he declared, encouraging the U.S.-led coalition in the region to “surgically” target the terror group “with precision.”
“Our partners on the ground are rooting ISIL out town by town, neighborhood by neighborhood, block by block. That is what this campaign is doing. We are hitting ISIL harder than ever,” he said.
President Obama said the U.S. strategy would entail “moving forward with a great sense of urgency” on four fronts:
The U.S. military will continue “hunting down and taking out these terrorists, training and equipping Iraqi and Syrian forces to fight ISIL on the ground, stopping ISIL’s operations by disrupting the recruiting, financing and propaganda, and finally, persistent diplomacy to end the Syrian civil war so that everyone can focus on destroying ISIL,” he said.
The President also announced that Secretary of Defense Ash Carter is departing to the Middle East, where he will meet with U.S. allies who are fighting against the Islamic State.
He also said that the Department of Homeland Security, under Secretary Jeh Johnson, would be revamping its lookout protocols and warning system.
Obama was at the Pentagon Monday to chair a National Security Council meeting related to operations against the Islamic State.