Date
26 July 2017
President Barack Obama speaks after meeting his top national security advisers. He said coalition forces have momentum in the fight against Islamic State. Photo: Reuters
President Barack Obama speaks after meeting his top national security advisers. He said coalition forces have momentum in the fight against Islamic State. Photo: Reuters

Obama vows to keep momentum in fight against Islamic State

President Barack Obama is touting momentum in the US-led fight against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, saying coalition forces have put the militants on the defensive.

“We have momentum and we intend to keep that momentum,” Obama said after a meeting with his national security advisers.

The campaign has cut supply lines and financing for the group and shrunk its territory but Obama said more work needs to be done to help communities recover, Reuters reports.

“We will continue to assist Iraq and so must the entire world as it works to stabilize liberated areas and promote governance and development that is inclusive of all Iraqi communities,” he said.

He noted an “uptick” in Islamic State fighters heading to Libya and pledged to help the country’s “new and nascent” government.

There have been more than 11,500 air strikes against Islamic State in Syria and Iraq, and the coalition has killed or captured several key leaders in the group.

“In the days and weeks ahead, we intend to take out more,” Obama said.

Obama said the United States would do what it could to help advance UN-led peace talks in Geneva on Syria’s political future, noting an accord between President Bashar al-Assad’s government and his opponents had held for about six weeks, but remained tenuous and under strain.

He said the future of Syria would be on the agenda for the six-member Gulf Cooperation Council meeting next week in Riyadh, which he plans to attend.

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