The United States will conduct a campaign against the Islamic State that includes targets in Syria, President Barack Obama said in an address to the nation Wednesday night.
The president had been under pressure from both home and abroad to announce a comprehensive U.S. strategy against the Islamic State (also known as ISIS or ISIL) extremist group.
Less than two weeks earlier he said in a press conference that "we don't have a strategy yet," but he has steadily underscored the need to take the fight to ISIS in recent speeches.
With Wednesday's announcement, made on the eve of the 13th anniversary of 9/11, the White House is hoping to set the course for further U.S. action in the region, and to settle criticisms about overly ambiguous goals. Obama said the country is meeting the ISIS threat "with strength and resolve."
"Tonight, with a new Iraqi government in place, and following consultations with allies abroad and Congress at home, I can announce that America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat," Obama said. "Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy."