Obama says he has authority to destroy ISIL

Obama says he has authority to destroy ISIL
Wed Sep 10, 2014 07:59:24

President Barack Obama has told congressional leaders that he had the authority he needed to take action to destroy the terrorist group ISIL, signaling again that the White House would not ask Congress to vote to approve his plan.

Obama met with top Democratic and Republican leaders Tuesday ahead of a speech Wednesday evening to lay out his plan to fight the Takfiri group.

“The president told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against ISIL in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow night,” the White House said in a statement.

“He reiterated his belief that the nation is stronger and our efforts more effective when the president and Congress work together to combat a national security threat like ISIL.”

US President Barack Obama will use a keenly awaited prime-time speech Wednesday evening to outline his administration’s plan to defeat ISIL militants. Obama huddled with senior congressional leaders to discuss his plans, which officials say will involve a broad international coalition and efforts to choke off ISIL funding and the flow of foreign fighters to the group as well as military action.

The Wednesday speech will attempt to redress criticism that he has been slow to respond to ISIL’ seizure of a haven in Syria and Iraq, amid fears terrorists armed with Western passports could train their sights on the US.

Obama will enlist public support for a new military venture at a poignant moment – the eve of the 13th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, which pitched America into a Middle East conflagration he has spent much of his presidency trying to escape.

Expectations that the president will expand US strikes in Iraq into Syria coincide with signs that the American public sees the group as an increasing threat, and is increasingly open to stepped up military action.

American public opinion appears to be shifting in favor of a limited intervention in Syria, despite lingering fatigue from more than a decade of foreign wars. A Washington Post/ABC News poll published Tuesday found that nine in 10 Americans saw ISIL as a serious threat, and 71 percent backed airstrikes in Iraq and 65 percent agreed with extending airstrikes into Syria.

There was also sobering data for Obama’s political advisers.

Fifty three percent said the president had been too cautious in handling international affairs.
The White House has been unwilling to say exactly what it wants from Congress, saying it wants “buy in” from lawmakers but stopping short of signaling the president will ask for authorization to take military action.
In the region, US Secretary of State John Kerry is scheduled to hold talks in Amman Wednesday with Jordanian officials, before heading to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, for two days of meetings that will bring together officials from Lebanon, Iraq, Jordan, Egypt, Turkey and the six countries of the Gulf Cooperation Council.


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