President announces in televised address that US will target Islamic State militants in Syria for the first time
Barack Obama announced an open-ended bombing campaign against Islamic State militants on Wednesday that will extend into Syria for the first time, despite acknowledging that the extremist group did not currently pose a direct threat to the US homeland.
In a markedly interventionist speech on the eve of the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks, Obama announced an aggressive offensive to combat Isis, which has been responsible for the beheading of two American citizens in the past month and captured a swath of territory in northern parts of Iraq and Syria.
He compared the campaign to those waged against al-Qaida in Yemen and Somalia, where US drones, cruise missiles and special-operations raids have battered local affiliates, yet without notably improving the stability of either country nor dealing decisive blows to Islamic militants there.
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