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Obama asks for war powers, says IS ‘going to lose’

Barack Obama

Washington: Asserting that it will take time to dislodge Islamic State militants, President Barack Obama has sought a three-year Congressional authorisation of military action against the terror group which he said was on the defensive and “is going to lose”.

“Make no mistake this is a difficult mission, and it will remain difficult for some time. It’s going to take time to dislodge these terrorists, especially from urban areas. But our coalition is on the offensive, ISIL is on the defensive, and ISIL is going to lose,” Obama told reporters at the White House. He said more than 2,000 coalition airstrikes have pounded these terrorists.

“We’re disrupting their command and control and supply lines, making it harder for them to move. We’re destroying their fighting positions, their tanks, their vehicles, their barracks, their training camps, and the oil and gas facilities and infrastructure that fund their operations. We’re taking out their commanders, their fighters and their leaders,” he said.

Obama made the remarks after sending a draft resolution to the Congress to authorise the use of force against Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL). This resolution he said reflects America’s core objective to destroy ISIL.

In a letter to lawmakers, Obama said granting him war authority “would show the world we are united in our resolve” to defeat jihadist militants who now control swaths of Syria and Iraq.

IS “poses a threat to the people and stability of Iraq, Syria, and the broader Middle East, and to US national security,” Obama said in the letter.

“If left unchecked, the IS “will pose a threat beyond the Middle East, including to the United States homeland,” he said.

Later, Obama told reporters at the White House that, “In Iraq, local forces have largely held the line and in some places have pushed ISIL back. In Syria, ISIL failed in its major push to take the town of Kobani, losing countless fighters who will never again threaten innocent civilians. And we’ve seen reports of sinking morale among ISIL fighters as they realise the futility of their cause,” he said.

Obama said ISIL’s barbaric murders of so many people, including American hostages, are a desperate and revolting attempt to strike fear in the hearts of people it can never possibly win over by its ideas or its ideology — because it offers nothing but misery and death and destruction.

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