News / USA

Obama Warns of Expanding Battle Against Islamic State

Obama Warns of Expanding Battle Against Islamic Statei
X
Jeff Seldin
August 27, 2014 8:12 PM
The United States is preparing to extend its reach in the effort to contain the group known as the Islamic State. Officials say Washington will do what it needs to do in order to protect American citizens. VOA's Jeff Seldin has more from the Pentagon.

The United States is preparing to extend its reach in the effort to contain the group known as the Islamic State. Officials say Washington will do what it needs to do in order to protect American citizens.

Underscoring the possible internal threat in the United State from IS, a White House spokesman confirmed an NBC News that a California man was killed while fighting on the side of the militant group in Syria.

"We were aware of U.S. citizen Douglas McAuthur McCain’s presence in Syria and can confirm his death," said a statement released by Caitlin Hayden, a spokeswoman for the National Security Council.

"We continue to use every tool we possess to disrupt and dissuade individuals from traveling abroad for violent jihad and to track and engage those who return,"  she said.

U.S. authorities have said in recent months that dozens of Americans have joined forces with IS fighters.

On a day when the U.S. launched new airstrikes in Irbil, in northern Iraq, against the group known as the Islamic State, President Barack Obama sent a warning to its members.

"America does not forget; our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done," Obama said.

The remark was a reference to the Islamic State’s brutal execution of kidnapped U.S. journalist James Foley.
 
With the group continuing to make gains in neighboring Syria, Obama said the challenge is clear.

"Rooting out a cancer like ISIL won't be easy, and it won't be quick," said Obama.

The U.S. has been conducting as many as 60 surveillance flights a day over Iraq - with some peering across the border into Syria.  Now, administration officials say President Obama has authorized similar flights over Syria itself.

Officials remain tight-lipped about whether that signals the U.S. is preparing to begin airstrikes against the Islamic State in Syria.  

But Pentagon spokesman Rear Admiral John Kirby said whatever comes next, U.S. forces will be ready.

"We need to stay mindful of doing what we need to do to protect American citizens at home and abroad, and as has been stated before, we’re not going to hold ourselves to geographic boundaries to accomplish that job," Kirby said.

U.S. officials say the Islamic State is a regional threat with global aspirations. In addition to carrying out airstrikes in Iraq.

U.S. efforts have focused on strengthening Iraqi and Kurdish forces. And on Tuesday, several more countries agreed to help speed weapons and ammunition to Kurdish forces fighting on the front lines.

These efforts have not always satisfied Iraqi or Kurdish officials. The president of Iraq’s Kurdistan region credits Iran with being the first country to help supply needed arms.

Moderate groups in Syria, taking on both the regime of President Bashar al-Assad and the Islamic State, also have been waiting. A proposed U.S. program to get them more arms and training has yet to materialize.


Jeff Seldin

Jeff works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters covering a wide variety of subjects, from the nature of the growing terror threat in Northern Africa to China’s crackdown on Tibet and the struggle over immigration reform in the United States. You can follow Jeff on Twitter at @jseldin or on Google Plus.

You May Like

Obama: I Will Do 'Everything I Can' to Close Guantanamo

US president says prison continues 'to inspire jihadists and extremists around the world' More

Sierra Leone Educates on Safe Ebola Burials

Also, country is improving at rapid response to isolated outbreaks, but health workers need to be even faster, officials say More

Religion Aside, Christmas Gains Popularity in Communist Vietnam

Increasingly wealthy Vietnamese embrace holiday due to its non-religious glamor, commercial appeal More

This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: meanbill from: USA
August 26, 2014 11:39 PM
THE WISE MAN said it;.. I wonder if he still thought what he was dying for was worth it, and did he wish he was back in California, and did he pray to Allah in those last seconds of life he had left?

PS;.. It's funny what you think of in those last seconds of your life.


by: MUSTAFA from: INDIA
August 26, 2014 10:33 PM
The Easy Solution of this problem, is to ask Sponsors of this Terrorist Group not to give Training, Financial Back up and health treatment on their soil. If USA has no idea who are sponsors of this group, I tell you Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Qatar and Jordon. I know if USA use its power against these sponsors then this problem will be solve quickly. If we use air strike against these terrorist group on one hand and support them with other hand, then this problem will Never be solved.


by: Mark from: Virginia
August 26, 2014 10:28 PM
I have heard similar words, spoken by a former President, that launched America into a nine-year long war in Iraq, that now everyone is still trying to blame for our current woes. When the Trade Center Towers fell, Bush stood there with a bullhorn and said '...I can hear you, the rest of the world hears you, and the people who knocked these buildings down, will hear all of us soon-"
Now, for a President who pledged to bring our troops home, is saying “America does not forget; our reach is long. We are patient. Justice will be done,"

History repeats...it is always the same, history repeats. And here we go, again...

Does anyone realize, that since 1900 to present day (114 years), we have known 64 years of peace, and 48 years of conflict and war. The longest period of unbroken peace this country has experienced, was between 1918 and 1941, after that, we have known less than 10 years without some engagement with a foreign country involving our military forces. That is not a good ratio of peace and war. Not a generation has lived in those 114 years that did not have a war to deal with.

In Response

by: meanbill from: USA
August 27, 2014 7:47 AM
Hey Mark.... All those conflicts and wars the US started was to make the world a better place, and protect America and Americans, (and looking back), we didn't win a war or defeat anybody, and they are still there, and we are still here, (and Bin Laden is dead), and someone said the world is a safer place, or was that a foolish dream of someone without common sense?

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubansi
X
Sharon Behn
December 19, 2014 9:34 PM
For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video US Decision on Cuba Underscores Divisions Among Miami Cubans

For decades, older, more conservative Cubans have been gathering at Café Versailles on the corner of Calle Ocho to eat Cuban food and talk politics. After hearing of President Barack Obama’s decision, a number of them gathered in front of the café with posters to protest. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on the situation.
Video

Video Three Cities Bid for Future Obama Presidential Library

President Barack Obama still has two years left in his term in office, but the effort to establish his post-presidential library is already underway. The bid for the Obama Presidential Library is down to four locations in three states -- New York, Hawaii, and Illinois. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, each of them played an important part in the president’s life before he reached the White House.
Video

Video Cuba Deal is Major Victory for Pope’s Diplomatic Initiatives

Pope Francis played a key role in brokering the US-Cuba deal that was made public earlier this week. It is the most stunning success so far in a series of peacemaking efforts by the pontiff. VOA religion reporter Jerome Socolovsky has more.
Video

Video Fears of More Political Gridlock in 2015

2014 proved to be a difficult year politically for President Barack Obama and a very good year for the U.S. Republican Party. Republican gains in the November midterm elections gave them control of the Senate and House of Representatives for the next two years -- setting the stage for more confrontation and gridlock in the final two years of the Obama presidency. VOA National Correspondent Jim Malone has a preview from Washington.
Video

Video Sudan School Becomes Target of Aerial Attacks

The school dropout rate is at an all-time high in Sudan's South Kordofan state because many schools have been destroyed during the three-year civil war between the government and SPLA-N rebel forces. Adam Bailes visited Sudan's Nuba Mountains' region and reports many children are simply too scared to go to school
Video

Video VOA Reporter Tours Devastated Peshawar School

Islamist militants wearing military uniforms and strapped with explosives attacked a military run school Tuesday in the northwestern Pakistani city of Peshawar. At least 141 people were killed in the horrific attack, most of them young students. VOA reporter Ayaz Gul visited the devastated school and attended the funeral of the principal who courageously tried to save her students from the deadly attack.
Video

Video Nigerians Fleeing Boko Haram Languish in Camp Near Capital

In its five-year effort to impose Islamic law in northeastern Nigeria, the Boko Haram extremist group has killed thousands of people and forced hundreds of thousands to flee. Some of those who ran for their lives now live in squalor on the edges of the capital, Abuja. Chris Stein reports for VOA.
Video

Video Aceh Rebuilt Decade After Tsunami, But Scars Remain

On December 26, 2004 there was an earthquake in the Indian Ocean so powerful it caused the Earth’s axis to wobble a few centimeters. Onshore on the island of Sumatra, the resulting tsunami was devastating. A decade later, VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Banda Aceh, Indonesia, where although there is little remaining evidence of the physical devastation, the psychological scars among survivors remain.

All About America

AppleAndroid