President Barack Obama on Thursday ordered his national security team to “continue accelerating” the military campaign against the Islamic State (ISIS) “on all fronts”, reports ABC News.
Obama made the comments after a meeting with his National Security team at the State Department as diplomats grapple over the details of a cessation of hostilities in Syria.
“This is a tough situation with a lot of moving parts,” Obama said of a tenuous cessation of hostilities in Syria’s civil war.
“If implemented, and that’s a significant if, the cessation could reduce the violence and get more food and aid to Syrians who are suffering and desperately need it,” he added, according to ABC News.
The ceasefire “could save lives. Potentially, it could also lead to negotiations on a political settlement to end the civil war so that everybody can focus their attention on destroying ISIL and that’s why the United States will do everything we can to maximize chance of success in this cessation of hostilities,” he added.
The comments come following a joint American-Russian announcement of a provisional ceasefire in Syria to begin on Saturday.
But ISIS, as well as Al-Qaeda affiliate Al-Nusra Front are not part of the cessation of host, and Obama was adamant that the ceasefire would not impact operations to destroy ISIS.
“We remain relentless in going after them,” he said, according to ABC News.
The latest ceasefire agreement came on the heels of another deal announced by top diplomats in Munich earlier this month, which was to go into effect last Friday.
The deadline of that ceasefire came and went with no end to the bloodshed in Syria.