Obama: U.S. to pursue ISIS 'on all fronts'

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama directed his national security team Thursday to press the U.S.-led international campaign to destroy the Islamic State group "on all fronts.

See Full Article

" 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 IS.

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, Defence 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.

On Syria, Obama said he doesn't expect a cease-fire that's set to take effect on Saturday to immediately end hostilities after years of bloodshed between forces loyal to Syrian President Bashar Assad and rebels who want to end his reign.

Announced just this week, the cease-fire is a "test" of whether the parties are committed to broader negotiations over a political transition, a new constitution and holding free elections, Obama said. He said Syria's future cannot include Assad as president, which is a chief point of contention with Russia and Iran, who support the Syrian leader.

"We are certain that there will continue to be fighting," Obama said, noting that IS, the Nusra Front and other groups aren't part of the negotiations.

Obama put the onus on Russia and its allies -- including the Assad government -- to live up to their commitments under the agreement. The elusive cease-fire deal was reached only after a monthslong Russian air campaign that the U.S. says strengthened Assad's hand and allowed his forces to retake territory, altering the balance of power in the Syrian civil war.

"The world will be watching," Obama said.

Associated Press writers Darlene Superville and Josh Lederman contributed to this report.



Advertisements

Latest Canada & World News

  • New National Holocaust Monument to stay open year-round

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- The newly opened National Holocaust Monument won't be closed for the winter after all. Heritage Minister Melanie Joly says in a tweet that the soaring concrete structure just west of Parliament Hill will remain open throughout the year. Source
  • Candidate for Ohio governor details his sexual past with '50 very attractive females'

    World News CTV News
    COLUMBUS, Ohio -- A state Supreme Court justice running for Ohio governor volunteered candid details of his sexual past on Facebook, saying Friday that he was taking a swipe at the "media frenzy" over sexual misconduct. Source
  • UN to vote on 30-day extension of expert body on Syria

    World News CTV News
    The UN Security Council has scheduled a vote Friday evening on a resolution that would extend for 30 days the mandate of the expert body charged with determining responsibility for chemical weapons attacks in Syria. Source
  • Police allege Toronto man, 32, placed online ad seeking sex with young girls

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO - Police say a 32-year-old Toronto man is facing charges in a child luring investigation. Investigators allege the accused posted an online classified ad, using the email address mikailusmaximus?åògmail.com, looking to have sex with young girls. Source
  • Italy buries 26 drowned Nigerian migrant women

    World News CTV News
    SALERNO, Italy -- More than two dozen young Nigerian women who drowned during a migrant crossing from Libya were honoured Friday with an interfaith funeral, closing out a gruesome new chapter in the years-long tragedy of desperate migrants trying to reach Europe and dying along the way. Source
  • Wife of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore says he won't quit

    World News CTV News
    MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- The wife of Alabama Senate candidate Roy Moore said Friday her husband won't quit the race in the face of allegations that he sexually assaulted young women years ago. Standing on the white marble steps of the state capitol, Kayla Moore was joined by several dozen women at a rally supporting Moore as she spoke in defence of her husband. Source
  • Dozens killed in bombings in Damascus, eastern Syria

    World News CBC News
    At least five children and two rescue workers were killed Friday in a Damascus suburb during a government bombing campaign amid escalating violence in and around the capital despite a truce, activists reported. State media said that rebels shelled government-controlled neighbourhoods of Damascus, killing at least three civilians. Source
  • Rev. Jesse Jackson discloses Parkinson's disease diagnosis

    World News CTV News
    CHICAGO -- The Rev. Jesse Jackson disclosed publicly Friday that he has been seeking outpatient care for two years for Parkinson's disease and plans to "dedicate" himself to physical therapy. In a Friday letter to supporters, the 76-year-old civil rights icon said family and friends noticed a change in him about three years ago and he could no longer ignore symptoms of the chronic neurological disorder that causes movement difficulties. Source
  • Classes could resume two days after back-to-work bill passes, colleges say

    Canada News CTV News
    TORONTO -- Ontario's colleges say once back-to-work legislation to end a faculty strike is passed, classes could resume two days later. The provincial government is set to table the legislation today, after an attempt to do so Thursday evening was blocked by the NDP. Source
  • Psychiatrist says terror suspect Mohamed Harkat poses low risk of violence

    Canada News CTV News
    OTTAWA -- A psychiatrist who has treated terror suspect Mohamed Harkat for the last eight years says the refugee from Algeria is unlikely to commit violent acts. Dr. Colin Cameron has told a Federal Court of Canada hearing on Harkat's release conditions that his patient supports democracy and expresses revulsion about terrorist attacks. Source