Obama seeks to ‘snuff out’ Iraq, Syria militants

It is a 'sobering time,' said Obama, following his decision to authorize U.S. air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria

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President Barack Obama said Friday that the international coalition led by the United States aims to “ultimately snuff out” the brand of extremism adopted by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, Reuters news agency reported.

Speaking at a Democratic fund-raising event in Baltimore, Obama described the situation as a “sobering time,” as the U.S. president earlier authorized air strikes against ISIS targets in Syria for the first time, adding to targeted areas in Iraq.

The threat from ISIS has had an important silver lining, he said, as it has focused the world’s attention on the need to “ultimately snuff out this particular brand of Islamic extremism that really has no place in the 21st century.”

Obama is spearheading an effort to form a coalition of Western and Gulf Arab states to take on the extremist group.

“We’re going to be able to build the kind of coalition that allows us to lead, but also isn’t entirely dependent on what we do,” said Obama.

Obama has so far met with NATO allies last week in Wales and is scheduled to hold a leaders security conference at the U.N. General

Assembly in New York later this month, aimed at gaining commitments from nations willing to join the coalition.

The Baltimore fund-raising event was held at the home of Howard Friedman, a former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee. Residents in the heavily Jewish neighborhood spilled out into their front yards, many waving pro-Israel signs.

“Thank you for standing by Israel,” Friedman told Obama in introducing him to the small crowd at the fund-raiser.

(With Reuters)

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