''We will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists,'' said President Obama, laying out a strategy for destroying Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
President Barack Obama vowed on Wednesday (September 10) to "ultimately destroy" Islamic State militants in a speech to Americans, laying out a strategy for expanding U.S. air strikes in Iraq and, for the first time, striking targets in Syria. "As Commander-in-Chief, my highest priority is the security of the American people," 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. They threatened a religious minority with genocide. In acts of barbarism, they took the lives of two American journalists - Jim Foley and Steven Sotloff," he said. "Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy," Obama said. "First, we will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists. Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions, so that we're hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense." Islamic State, which the United States refers to as ISIL, has carved out what it calls a "caliphate" from broad areas in Iraq and Syria and uses savage methods that have included the beheading of many prisoners, including two Americans.