President Obama outlined a “steady, relentless” strategy Wednesday to combat Islamic State fighters “wherever they exist,” signaling that he will target the militant group in Iraq and neighboring Syria, where the fighters have captured large swaths of territory.
Nearly six years after he was elected on the promise to end America’s decade of wars, Obama detailed a military campaign that is broader and more complex than any other he has launched.
The president said he will expand U.S. airstrikes against the militants in Iraq to include targets throughout the country, and he left open the option to bomb the group across the rapidly disintegrating border with Syria, where Islamic State harbors its weapons, camps and fighters.
"We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq," Obama said, using a common acronym for the militant group. "This is a core principle of my presidency: If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."