- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Trying again to reassure Americans in the wake of terrorist attacks in Europe, President Obama said Tuesday that the U.S.-led coalition will “squeeze” the Islamic State in its strongholds and defeat the extremist group.

“We are working to make sure that we are accelerating the campaign against ISIL in Syria and Iraq,” Mr. Obama said, using an acronym for the group, during a meeting with U.S. military chiefs at the White House. “ISIL continues to lose ground.”

He noted that coalition forces recently severed the main highway between the Islamic State strongholds of Raqqa, Syria, and Mosul, Iraq. He said the renewed pressure is necessary because the Islamic State has shown the ability to launch terrorist attacks such as the ones last month in Belgium and Turkey.

“We are going to squeeze them and we will defeat them,” he said. “We can no longer tolerate the kinds of positioning that is enabled by them having headquarters in Raqqa and in Mosul. We’ve got to keep on putting the pressure on them.”

He said the campaign “is not just a military operation; it is an intelligence and diplomatic effort as well.”

 “This will continue to be a difficult fight, but I’m absolutely confident that ISIL will lose, and we will prevail once again,” Mr. Obama said. 


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