WASHINGTON – US President Barack Obama directed his national security team Thursday to press the US-led international campaign to destroy
the Islamic State group “on all fronts.” He also expressed hope that a proposed cease-fire in Syria will lead to a political settlement to end the civil war and allow a more intense focus on ISIS.
Obama commented after a rare meeting at the State Department with some of his top national security advisers, who updated him on the parallel efforts to counter the Islamic State group and bring peace to Syria after years of civil strife. “I have directed my team to continue accelerating this campaign on all fronts,” Obama said, flanked by Secretary of State John Kerry, Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other top advisers. Obama said like-minded nations are stepping up and offering more assistance to defeat the Islamic State group. Since last summer militants haven’t launched a single successful operation in Syria or Iraq, where it controls large amounts of territory, he said.