NEWS BRIEF President Obama frames U.S. military operations against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria as key to restricting its ability to inspire homegrown terrorists all over the world. “The strategy we have in Syria and Iraq is necessary, but not sufficient,” he said. “We have to do a better job of disrupting networks, and those networks are more active in Europe than they are here. But we don’t know what we don’t know, and so it’s conceivable that there are some networks here that could be activated.”
Obama addressed reporters at a press conference Thursday after meeting with national-security officials at the Pentagon for a briefing on the military campaign against the Islamic State. Next week marks almost two years since the U.S. began its air strikes in Iraq and Syria. U.S. forces now conduct near-daily strikes in those countries, and last November expanded its air campaign to a handful of ISIS targets in Libya. This week, the Pentagon announced its latest and largest military action in Libya to date: air strikes in the city of Sirte, which has been under ISIS control since early 2015.
Obama said Thursday the terror threat to the homeland is serious, because of the lone actors or small cells that can become radicalized on the internet and carry out attacks on the Islamic State’s behalf. But the country is still “significantly safer” than it would’ve been without U.S. involvement.