Washington: Continuing his spirited campaign against the destruction of the Islamic State of Syria and the Levant (ISIL), United States President Barack Obama on Tuesday warned the terror outfit that they will never be safe until they stop targeting America and its allies.
Addressing the media after his meeting with the National Security Council, Obama said that the meeting was planned before the Orlando attack, but that tragedy shaped much of their work today.
“Those who died and are still recovering, who have seen their loved ones harmed, our LGBT friends who were targeted, I want to remind them that they are not alone. The American people and our allies and friends all over the world stand with you and are thinking about you and are praying for you,” he said.
Talking about the Orlando shootout, the President said that his administration currently did not have any information to indicate that a foreign terrorist group directed the attack, but added that it was increasingly clear, that the killer took in extremist information and propaganda over the internet.
“He appears to be an angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalised. ISIL has called on people from all over the world and here in the United States to attack innocent civilians. Their propaganda, videos, postings are pervasive and more easily accessible than we want. This individual appears to have absorbed some of that and during his killing spree, the shooter in Orlando pledged his allegiance to ISIL,” he said.
Reiterating his government’s objective to destroy ISIL, the President said that his administration was making significant progress in this regard and had taken out many of ISIL’s top leaders and cut off their funding.
“Our B52 bombers are hitting ISIL with precision. So far 13,000 airstrikes. ISIL is under more pressure than ever before, as it continues to lose key leaders. We have taken out more than 120 top ISIL leaders and commanders. Our message is clear: if you target America and its allies you will not be safe, you will never be safe,” Obama said.
Further talking about his government’s accomplishments in the war against ISIL, he added that the organisation has lost nearly half of its controlled territory in Iraq and continues to lose ground in Syria as well.
“ISIL continues to lose money that is its lifeblood. We believe we have cut ISIL’s revenue through oil and destroyed their storage where they keep their cash, which has reduced them to thievery and extortion. They are not religious warriors, they are thugs and thieves. ISIL’s ranks are shrinking, their morale is sinking,” he added.
Advocating for stricter gun laws, the President asserted that if tragedies like Orlando and San Bernandino are to be avoided, then it has to be made harder for those who want to kill Americans to get their hands on weapons of war.
“We cannot prevent every tragedy, but there are common sense steps that can reduce gun violence and could reduce the lethality of somebody who intends to do other people harm. People with possible ties to terrorism, who aren’t allowed on a plane shouldn’t be allowed to buy a gun. Enough talking about being tough on terrorism… actually be tough on terrorism. And stop making it easy for terrorists to buy assault weapons,” Obama said. (ANI)