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“If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”

President Obama delivered that firm statement Wednesday night in a nationally televised address intended to sell increased military efforts to the American public. The President announced a broad campaign against the Sunni jihadists who have rampaged Syria across northern Iraq.

The U.S. military’s role will be increased as part of a strategy that includes building an international coalition to support Iraqi ground forces and troops from other allies. U.S. airstrikes have been hitting the jihadists in Iraq, and they will be expanded to ISIS targets in Syria. 

“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.”

President Obama’s address answered calls from a growing number of U.S. politicians for such a step, with increasing public support. Obama announced another 475 American military advisers would go to Iraq, moving the total figure to approximately 1,700. The President also made it clear that this strategy differs from an all-out war in Iraq. 

“It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil,” Obama said.

President Obama also announced that the U.S. will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat. 

“Our objective is clear: We will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy.”

Senior administration officials told reporters that the airstrikes will occur at the time and place of their choosing. The exact time and nature of the airstrikes will not be specified, but carried out as targets develop. 


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