Obama says US hitting Islamic State ‘harder than ever’ – Los Angeles Times

President Obama said Monday that the U.S.-led coalition was hitting Islamic State “harder than ever” in Iraq and Syria, ticking off successes on the battlefield even as Americans are increasingly concerned about the threat of terrorism at home.

Speaking at the Pentagon after a briefing from his national security team, Obama noted that Islamic State had not waged a “single successful major offensive operation” since 2014 in either of the countries where it holds territory, losing up to 40% of its footprint in Iraq and thousands of square miles in Syria.

In November, the U.S. dropped more bombs on Islamic State targets than in any other month, while U.S. forces working with local partners have taken out senior leaders of the extremist group, also called ISIL or ISIS.

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“ISIL leaders cannot hide, and our next message to them is simple: you are next,” Obama said.

The update was another effort by Obama to stress his long-term and limited strategy against Islamic State amid calls to send more ground troops to defeat the group. Since the San Bernardino attack, Obama has been under pressure to convince Americans that he is doing everything he can to keep them safe.


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