Obama: US to bomb ISIS in Iraq and Syria

[Obama said ISIS is not Islamic. Huh?]

DEBKA

In a speech to the American people, Wednesday, Sept. 10, President Barack Obama unveiled a four-point strategy “to roll back, degrade and ultimately destroy” ISIS, at the head of “a broad coalition of friends and allies.” The US would lead off with systematic air strikes against IS targets, while local forces would perform the fighting on the ground. “No US combat troops would be involved,” he pledged.

He described the effort as a “comprehensive and sustained counter-terror mission,” to hunt terrorists down wherever they are. “We will not hesitate to take action against IS in Syria as well as Iraq,” said Obama. “There will be no safe haven for anyone threatening America.” He therefore called on Congress to approve additional resources for training and equipping Syrian opposition forces to take part in the war on IS.

Another 475 US military personnel had been assigned to Iraq, he said, but not in combat missions. They would provide training, intelligence and equipment and judge how best to support the Iraqi military. “America can make a difference,: he stressed, “but Iraqis must do the job of fighting IS themselves.”

According to US sources, the Obama administration has earmarked the small sum of $25 million dollars for training the Iraqi and Kurdish armies.

In the past six weeks, the US has conducted 154 air strikes against IS – a relatively low number which DEBKAfile’s military sources note is far below the fire power needed to “degrade” the Islamists.

Moreover, Washington has scarcely delivered on its promises for three years to arm the Syrian opposition adequately to contest Bashar Assad and his Iranian, Russian and Hizballah-backed war machine.

Now, it will take months if not years to bring the pro-Western Syrian rebel militias up to scratch for their new mission of fighting IS.

As for the broad coalition of friends and allies, US Secretary of State John Kerry stated in Baghdad Wednesday that it would consist of 40 nations. So far only 10-15 governments have signed up. At the same time, President Obama appeared to be firm and determined in his resolve the eradicate the terrorist scourge that calls itself the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, but he made no bones about a mission that would start slowly and stretch out over a long period.

September 11, 2014 | 2 Comments »

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