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.


Latest Canada & World News

  • Authorities find no sign of braking by bus driver in fatal California crash

    World News CTV News
    PALM SPRINGS, Calif. -- Ana Car didn't remember the sudden impact, only that she woke up among dead and injured passengers in a dark bus filled with screams of terror and agony. The retired factory worker had spent an evening gambling at a desert casino and was sound asleep when the bus heading to Los Angeles smashed into the rear of a slow-moving tractor-trailer. Source
  • Friends recall Hayden as activist behind historic document

    World News CTV News
    NEW YORK -- When news broke that Tom Hayden had died, many remembered him as the Vietnam War protester, former husband of Jane Fonda or the California legislator. But classmates and fellow activists at the University of Michigan still think of the impassioned and eloquent student who more than anyone shaped a signature document of the 1960s: the Port Huron Statement. Source
  • Surfer bitten by shark in Maui that 'came out of nowhere'

    World News Toronto Sun
    HONOLULU — A surfer says he’s grateful to be recovering in a Maui hospital after a shark bit him — even though the attack forced him and his wife to postpone their honeymoon. Federico Jaime was surfing Friday at a beach about two blocks from his Paia home when he felt a shark chomp down on his left arm, he recalled Monday from his room at Maui Memorial Medical Center. Source
  • Kendall Jenner's testimony at trial not enough for stalking conviction

    World News CBC News
    A jury on Monday acquitted a man of stalking model and reality TV star Kendall Jenner and convicted him of trespassing at her secluded Hollywood Hill home The jury of seven women and five men returned the verdict against Shavaughn McKenzie after a seven-day trial in which Jenner described her fear at finding McKenzie lurking in her driveway and banging on her car window in August. Source
  • 'I stand by what I told Rolling Stone': Woman who alleged rape testifies at trial

    World News CBC News
    The subject of a Rolling Stone article on a gang rape at the University of Virginia that the magazine retracted after investigators found no evidence the attack occurred, testified on Monday she believed she had told the reporter the truth. Source
  • Mexican police find meth hidden in cheese

    World News CTV News
    MEXICO CITY - Mexican prosecutors said Monday that they had found a tunnel in the border city of Tijuana that led toward or into the United States. The attorney general's office did not say whether the tunnel actually reached U.S. Source
  • Former Uruguay president Jorge Batlle dead at 88

    World News CBC News
    Former President Jorge Batlle, an extroverted and irreverent politician who was a force in Uruguayan politics for half a century and led it during one of its worst economic recessions, died on Monday. He was 88. Source
  • Conservatives retain Alta. seat in federal byelection

    Canada News CBC News
    CBC News is projecting Conservative Glen Motz will win the Medicine Hat-Cardston-Warner byelection with 196 of 223 polls reporting. Motz had 69.5 per cent (20,405) of the vote with Liberal candidate Stan Sakamoto taking 26.0 per cent (7,645 votes). Source
  • Ottawa police pull over higher rate of Middle Eastern and black drivers: report

    Canada News CTV News
    Ottawa Police are pulling over Middle Eastern and black drivers -- especially young men -- far more often than other groups relative to their population in the city, according to a report analyzing traffic stops over a two year period. Source
  • NAACP demanding federal probe after noose put on African American student

    World News CTV News
    WIGGINS, Miss. -- The president of the Mississippi NAACP is demanding a federal investigation after the parents of a black high school student said four white students put a noose around their son's neck at school. Source