U.S. House Speaker John Boehner says he is willing to work with Obama, but Republican lawmakers have doubts about whether the president's plan can accomplish the mission of destroying Islamic State. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) U.S. House Speaker John Boehner said on Thursday (September 11) that Republican lawmakers have doubts about whether President Barack Obama's plan can accomplish the mission of destroying Islamic State. "I support the president's plan to train and equip Iraqi security forces and the Syrian opposition. But I remain concerned that those measures could take years to fully implement at a time when ISIL's momentum and territorial gains must be halted and reversed immediately," Boehner said. President Barack Obama told Americans on Wednesday (September 10) he had authorized U.S. air strikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in a broad escalation of a campaign against the Islamic State militant group. "Air strikes alone will not accomplish what we're trying to accomplish," Boehner said. "And the President's made clear that he doesn't want U.S. boots on the ground. Well, somebody's boots have to be on the ground." Obama's decision to launch attacks inside Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year civil war, marked a turnabout for the president, who shied away a year ago from air strikes to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people. In a widely anticipated, 13-minute White House speech, Obama said he would hunt down Islamic State militants "wherever they are" in a drive to degrade and ultimately destroy the group, which has seized broad stretches of Iraq and Syria. "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," he said, speaking on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. Obama asked Congress to authorize $500 million to train and arm "moderate" Syrian rebels. The training would take place in Saudi Arabia.