Obama on Islamic State: 'our next message to them is simple: you are next'
After a briefing from his national security team, President Obama spoke from the Pentagon about efforts to defeat the Islamic State.
He said the militant group had not waged a “single successful major offensive operation” since 2014 in either of the countries where it holds territory. He also said the Islamic State had lost up to 40% of its footprint in Iraq and thousands of square miles in Syria.
The statement was another in the president's effort to persuade Americans that he is doing everything he can to keep them safe.
Obama reiterated four key elements to combating the Islamic State. In the president's words:
• Hunting down and taking out these terrorists
• Training and equipping Iraqi and Syrian forces to fight Islamic State on the ground
• Stopping Islamic State operations by disrupting recruiting and propaganda
• Persistent diplomacy to end the Syrian civil war
"Meanwhile," he said, "more people are seeing ISIL for the thugs and the thieves and the killers that they are."