President Barack Obama says the United States is prepared to expand its bombing campaign against ISIL terrorists and launch airstrikes in Syria.
“I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq,” Obama said during a speech delivered from the White House on Wednesday.
“America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” he added.
The Pentagon announced that the United States already has conducted 154 airstrikes against ISIL targets in Iraq.
During his speech, the US president outlined Washington’s strategy against the terrorists.
“Our objective is clear: We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counterterrorism strategy,” Obama said.
“In a region that has known so much bloodshed, these terrorists are unique in their brutality. They execute captured prisoners. They kill children. They enslave, rape and force women into marriage,” he said.
“They threatened a religious minority with genocide. In acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists — Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff.”
“This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven.”
Meanwhile, President Obama said Washington will train and equip opposition militants fighting against the government of Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
He vowed to deploy more troops inside Iraq but said the servicemen would be assigned to training and intelligence duties.
He also assured the American people that the new campaign will be different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and it will not involve combat troops fighting on foreign soil.
“This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground. 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,” Obama said.