President Barack Obama told the nation in a televised address on Wednesday that the United States continues to face a threat even as the country targets terror groups.
“We can’t erase every trace of evil from the world, and small groups of killers have the capacity to do great harm. That was the case before 9/11, and that remains true today,” Obama said at the White House.
“That’s why we must remain vigilant as threats emerge. At this moment, the greatest threats come from the Middle East and North Africa, where radical groups exploit grievances for their own gain. And one of those groups is ISIL — which calls itself the Islamic State.”
ISIS poses a threat to the Middle East, including the people of Iraq and Syria, he said. “If left unchecked, these terrorists could pose a growing threat beyond that region, including the United States,” Obama said.
Among the key points to address the threat from ISIS:
— The United States will carry out a “systematic campaign of airstrikes” against ISIS. “…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,” Obama said. ISIS is often called ISIL.
— The United States will send an additional 475 service members to Iraq, Obama said. “As I have said before, these American forces will not have a combat mission,” the President said. “We will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq. But they are needed to support Iraqi and Kurdish forces with training, intelligence and equipment.”
–The United States will work with partners to stem the flow of foreign fighters into and out of the Middle East, Obama said. The United States will continue to provide humanitarian assistance to civilians, he said.