Fox News on September 8, 2014, reported that the Obama administration is preparing a campaign to destroy the Islamic State militant group that could outlast the president’s remaining time in office, according to a published report. Excerpts below:
The New York Times, citing U.S. officials, reported that the White House plan involves three phases that some Pentagon officials believe will require at least three years of sustained effort.
The first phase, airstrikes against Islamic State, also known as ISIS, is already underway in Iraq, where U.S. aircraft have launched 143 attacks since August 8. The second phase involves an intensified effort to train, advise, and equip the Iraqi army, Kurdish Peshmerga fighters, and any Sunni tribesmen willing to fight their ISIS co-religionists. The Times reports that this second phase will begin sometime after Iraq forms a new government, which could happen sometime this week.
The third, and most politically fraught phase of the campaign, according to The Times, would require airstrikes against ISIS inside Syria. Last month, the government of Bashar al-Assad in Damascus warned the Obama administration not to launch airstrikes against ISIS in Syria without its permission.
Obama was scheduled to outline his plan in a meeting September 9 with House and Senate leaders before addressing the nation in a speech Wednesday, the eve of the 13th anniversary of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks.”
On September 7, the head of the 22-member Arab League urged the group’s members to make a “clear and firm decision for a comprehensive confrontation” with “cancerous and terrorist” groups. Nabil Elaraby called ISIS a threat to the existence of Iraq and its neighbors and “one of the examples of the challenges that are violently shaking the Arab world, and one the Arab League, regrettably, has not been able to confront.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.