“Today, the United States continues to build a broad international coalition to degrade and ultimately destroy the terrorist group known as ISIL,” President Obama stated Thursday night shortly after Congress voted to arm and train Syrian rebels to fight ISIL.
“As part of the air campaign, France will join in strikes against ISIL targets in Iraq.”
Obama confirmed that more than 40 countries have offered assistance for the coalition, including support for Iraqi forces, strengthening the Iraqi government, and offering humanitarian aide to civilians.
America will now move forward with providing training and equipment to the Syrian opposition forces so they may attack ISIL members in Syria.
“This program will be held outside of Syria in partnership with Arab countries and it will be matched by our increasing support for the Iraqi government and Kurdish forces in Iraq.”
Obama stressed that American forces deployed to Iraq “will and do not” have a combat mission. Rather, they will advice and assist America’s partners on the ground.
“We can join with allies and partners to destroy ISIL, without American troops fighting another ground war in the Middle East.”
Rather than be intimidated by ISIL, Obama stated that Congress’ bipartisan consent of the training effort showed the world that Americans are united in the cause to confront ISIL.
“With their barbaric murder of two Americans these terrorists thought they could frighten us, or intimidate us, or cause us to shrink from the world. But today they are learning the same hard lessons of petty tyrants and terrorists who have gone before: as Americans we do not give in to fear. And when you harm our citizens or you threaten the United States, or you threaten our allies, it doesn’t divide us, it unites us. “