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Iran Press TV

Obama: US-led coalition squeezing heart of ISIL

Iran Press TV

Mon Dec 14, 2015 6:35PM

President Barack Obama has said the US-led coalition is hitting the Daesh (ISIL) terrorist group "harder than ever."

'As we squeeze its heart we'll make it harder for ISIL to sell its propaganda to the world,' Obama said in a brief statement Monday following a meeting with his national security team at the pentagon.

The president said that his administration is continuously reassessing its strategy to combat ISIL, and also in the US homeland against home-grown extremists.

Obama adopted a more aggressive tone against ISIL leaders, calling those that have been killed in airstrikes by name.

"Our next message to them is simple: you are next," he added.

Obama asserted that the terror group has lost "thousands of square miles of territory" it had seized in Iraq and Syria and has not had a major battlefield victory since summer.

"All this said, we recognize that progress needs to keep coming faster," he stressed.

Obama also said that he was sending Defense Secretary Ashton Carter to the Middle East to encourage coalition partners to step up their contributions.

He said the US has intensified the airstrikes against the terror group and has dropped more bombs on ISIL targets last month than in any month since the campaign started.

Before his televised speech, Obama chaired a National Security Council meeting at the Pentagon, where he received an update on the campaign against ISIL.

The fight against ISIL has taken up added urgency since the Nov.13 terrorist attacks in Paris. The terror group claimed responsibility for the deadly attacks.

The US and some of its allies, especially Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have been funding and arming various militant groups to fight against the Syrian government.

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