Breaking News

ECB Leaves Benchmark Interest Rate Unchanged at 0.050%
Tweet TWEET

Obama Says Regional Coalition Needed to Stop Extremists

Sept. 3 (Bloomberg) -- President Barack Obama speaks about the beheading of American journalist Steven Sotloff at a press conference in Estonia.

President Barack Obama said U.S. airstrikes have halted the military momentum of Islamic State extremists in Iraq and the next step must be building a regional coalition to close in on them.

Speaking shortly after the U.S. verified the authenticity of a video released yesterday by Islamic State showing the execution of a second U.S. journalist, Steven Sotloff, Obama said such horrific acts will only serve to unite the U.S. and the world.

“It’s not only that we’re going to be bringing to justice those that perpetrated this terrible crime against these fine young men,” Obama said in Tallinn, Estonia, where he stopped before a summit of NATO members. “The United States will continue to lead a regional and international effort against the barbaric” and “empty” vision of Islamic State, he said.

Al-Qaeda's Heirs

U.S. lawmakers are pressuring Obama to take stronger action to combat Islamic State, which has captured swaths of Iraq and Syria. The U.S. has carried out airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq, and Obama yesterday authorized the deployment of about 350 more troops to protect diplomatic personnel in Baghdad.

While the U.S. has sent hundreds of military personnel into Iraq to guard U.S. interests and advise the Iraqi army, Obama has vowed he won’t send in combat forces and European allies such as the U.K. and Germany haven’t committed to joining airstrikes.

Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama said, “The United States will continue to lead a regional and international effort against the barbaric” and “empty” vision of Islamic State. Close

President Barack Obama said, “The United States will continue to lead a regional and... Read More

Close
Open
Photographer: Saul Loeb/AFP via Getty Images

President Barack Obama said, “The United States will continue to lead a regional and international effort against the barbaric” and “empty” vision of Islamic State.

Obama today said it will take time to “degrade and destroy” Islamic State and repeated his stance that the goal can only be accomplished if Iraq has a functioning, inclusive government that can unite Sunnis and Shiites.

Seeking to clarify his remark last week that he had “no strategy” for hitting Islamic State in Syria, Obama said he was referring to a military plan to identify a mission and targets and one that has the full support of the U.S. public and allies.

“It is very important to me that when we send our pilots in to do a job that we know this is a mission that’s going to work” and that it has support, he said.

Iraq’s Brittle Nationhood

To contact the reporters on this story: Angela Greiling Keane in Tallinn, Estonia, at agreilingkea@bloomberg.net; Phil Mattingly in Tallinn, Estonia, at pmattingly@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Steven Komarow at skomarow1@bloomberg.net Joe Sobczyk, Alan Crawford

Press spacebar to pause and continue. Press esc to stop.

Bloomberg reserves the right to remove comments but is under no obligation to do so, or to explain individual moderation decisions.

Please enable JavaScript to view the comments powered by Disqus.