President Barack Obama laid out his plan on Sunday to fight terrorism and destroy ISIS, the terrorist group his administration refers to as ISIL.
“The threat from terrorism is real, but we will overcome it. We will destroy ISIL and any other organization that tries to harm us,” Obama said in a televised address. “We will prevail by being strong and smart, resilient and relentless.”
In his rare primetime speech from the Oval Office, the President then explained in detail his administration’s plan to fight terrorism.
- “First, our military will continue to hunt down terrorist plotters in any country where it is necessary. In Iraq and Syria, air strikes are taking out ISIL leaders, heavy weapons, oil tankers, infrastructure.
- Second, we will continue to provide training and equipment to tens of thousands of Iraqi and Syrian forces fighting ISIL on the ground so that we take away their safe havens.
- Third, we’re working with friends and allies to stop ISIL’s operations, to disrupt plots, cut off their financing, and prevent them from recruiting more fighters.
- Fourth, with American leadership, the international community has begun to establish a process and timeline to pursue cease-fires and a political resolution to the Syrian war.”
Obama also said he will urge tech firms and law enforcement to work together to fight ISIS, even as he tried to reassure a nervous nation after Wednesday’s deadly attack in San Bernardino, California.
Syed Farook, 28, and Tashfeen Malik, 27, killed 14 people and injured 21 others after going on a shooting rampage at a holiday party inside the Inland Regional Center, according to authorities. Hours later, the husband and wife were killed in a shootout with police.
Authorities later discovered an arsenal of ammunition and pipe bombs at Farook and Malik’s Redlands home, where they cared for their 6-month-old daughter.
Although initially believed to be a workplace shooting, the FBI announced that it is now investigating the deadly rampage as an “act of terrorism.”
President Obama also described the attack as terrorism on Sunday. “This was an act of terrorism designed to kill innocent people.”
He went on to say the couple behind the attack had “gone down the dark path of radicalization” and embraced a “perverted version of Islam.”
Obama’s address began just after 8 p.m. ET and was carried live by the cable news channels and on the broadcast networks, which pushed back their regularly scheduled programming to accommodate the speech.
The only other time in his presidency that Obama has spoken on a Sunday night was in 2011, when he announced the death of al-Qaeda leader Osama bin Laden.
Watch President Obama’s speech below.