Obama rules out putting U.S. troops on the ground to fight ISIS

U.S. President Obama
U.S. President Obama

U.S. President Barack Obama arrives for a news conference following a working session at the Group of 20 (G20) leaders summit in the Mediterranean resort city of Antalya, Turkey, Nov. 16, 2015.


U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday said the United States would stick to its current strategy in the fight against Islamic State militants in Syria and Iraq, again ruling out putting U.S. troops on the ground in a fighting capacity.

“There will be an intensification of the strategy that we put forward but the strategy they we put forward is the strategy that ultimately is going to work,” Obama told reporters at a news conference at the close of a Group of 20 summit.

“That’s not what’s going on here. These are killers,” he said.

“It’s not their sophistication or the particular weaponry they possess but it is the ideology that they carry with them and their willingness to die,” he said.

Meanwhile, U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spoke with the Syrian Opposition Coalition president on the importance of next steps in Syria following a meeting of the International Syria Support Group in Vienna on Saturday, the State Department said.

In a call on Monday, Kerry and coalition President Khaled Koja discussed steps including a broad and inclusive meeting of the Syrian opposition, the beginning of credible negotiations between the Syrian opposition and the regime, and steps to put in place a credible ceasefire, spokesman John Kirby said.

Kerry emphasized the need for the opposition to come together to participate in negotiations and provide maximum access for humanitarian organizations, Kirby said.


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