President Barack Obama said that while the Islamic State is losing ground in Syria and Iraq, it still has the ability to inspire attacks.
"Tragically, however, we have also seen that ISIL still has the ability to direct and inspire attacks. ... In fact, the decline of ISIL in Syria and Iraq appears to be causing it to shift to tactics that we've seen before, an even greater emphasis on encouraging high-profile terrorist attacks, including in the United States," Obama said.
The president made his comments from the Pentagon after a Thursday meeting with his National Security Council. Obama said that America has been keeping "after ISIL aggressively across every front of this campaign."
"In stark contrast to ISIL, which uses civilians as human shields, America's armed forces will continue to do everything in our power to avoid civilian casualties," the president said.
The comments come as the U.S. bombs targets in and around the Libyan city of Sirte, in a notable expansion of the U.S.-led coalition's military mission against the Islamic State. Obama is assessing what's working and what's not in the fight against the Islamic State group as the U.S. military ramps up its engagement in Libya.