- The Washington Times - Wednesday, June 29, 2016

Sounding frustrated by the latest horrific terrorist attack at an airport in Turkey, President Obama vowed Wednesday to break up “these networks of hate.”

Speaking to reporters at a summit in Ottawa, Canada, Mr. Obama said the attack Tuesday at Istanbul’s main airport was “an indication of how little these vicious organizations have to offer beyond killing innocents.”

“They’re continually losing ground, unable to govern those areas that they have taken over,” Mr. Obama said in an apparent reference to the Islamic State terror group. “They’re going to be defeated in Syria. They’re going to be defeated in Iraq. We will not rest until we have dismantled these networks of hate that have had an impact on the entire civilized world.”

Mr. Obama called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan from Air Force One to offer “deep condolences” for the attack that killed at least 41 people and injured 239 others.

“We stand with the people of Turkey,” Mr. Obama said.

While the Islamic State has been losing territory in Syria and Iraq against the U.S.-led coalition, it has carried out a series of high-profile attacks elsewhere or inspired followers to do so in the past year, from Paris and Brussels to San Bernardino, California, and Orlando, Florida.

The Islamic State, also known by the acronym ISIL, is believed to be responsible for the Istanbul attack, although no group has claimed responsibility. White House press secretary Josh Earnest said the administration continues “to be concerned by the ability that ISIL has to carry out these kind of terrorist attacks, not just in Iraq and Syria but in other places.”

He said the U.S.-led coalition has made “important progress” against ISIL in Iraq and Syria, including the recent recapture of Fallujah by Iraqi forces.

CIA Director John Brennan told Congress earlier this month that despite progress against ISIL on the battlefield and in the financial realm, “our efforts have not reduced the group’s terrorism capability and global reach.”

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Kentucky Republican, noted that Turkey has taken diplomatic steps in recent days to improve relations with Israel and with Russia.

“Now, the United States must extend its hand to our NATO partners and assure them that we will stand with them in the face of this attack and work together to defeat ISIL,” Mr. McConnell said.

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