Roll Call: Latest News on Capitol Hill, Congress, Politics and Elections
February 9, 2016

Obama: We’ll ‘Destroy’ ISIS

Anti-NATO protestors demonstrate outside Cardiff Castle that is hosting what has been billed as the most important summit since the end of the Cold War with the situation in Ukraine and the threat of ISIS at the top of the agenda. (Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

(Matt Cardy/Getty Images)

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.


Related stories:

McCarthy: ‘Friends Don’t Trust Us, Enemies Don’t Fear Us’

House, Senate Laying Groundwork for War on ISIS

Obama Official on Defeating ISIS: Get More International, Fix Syria

McCain: Senate Shouldn’t Leave Without Authorizing Use of Force Against ISIS (Video)

Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

  • White Army

    How many lies has Obama told today?

  • Srinivas

    The US must adopt a zero tolerance approach to Islamic Terrorism.
    In the past the US has stopped declaring militants as terrorists if such groups did not pose a threat to the US.
    The US should start seeing terror as evil even if not directed at the US.
    Many groups in Pakistan still carry out terror attacks in India and Afghanistan but the US does not use its leverage on Pakistan to shut them down.
    US must get really tough with Pakistan which is the hotbed of terrorism and a nuclear-terrorist state.

  • Proud_to_be_American

    How many grains of sand on the beach?

Sign In

Forgot password?



Receive daily coverage of the people, politics and personality of Capitol Hill.

Subscription | Free Trial

Logging you in. One moment, please...