POLITICS

Barack Obama Insists 'We're Going To Defeat Islamic State'

07/09/2014 18:14 BST | Updated 07/09/2014 19:59 BST

Barack Obama has insisted "we're going to defeat" Islamic State (IS) and said he will sketch out a plan to do in a speech later this week.

Without revealing details of any planned US action, he said America would engaged in something "similar to the kinds of counter-terrorism campaigns that we've been engaging in consistently over the last five, six, seven years".

He will give his speech on Wednesday, the day before the 13th anniversary of the 9/11 attacks that killed nearly 3,000 people.

Speaking to NBC's Meet The Press today, Obama, who was elected president on a platform of getting US soldiers out of Iraq, said: "This is not going to be an announcement about U.S. ground troops. This is not the equivalent of the Iraq war.

"The good news is is that because of American leadership, we have I believe, a broad-based coalition internationally and regionally to be able to deal with the problem."

barack obama

Obama has said the West will 'defeat' IS

Obama has been accused of being indecisive over IS as it has torn through Syria and Iraq. He told reporters last month "we don't have a strategy yet".

The strategy he will announce on Wednesday will have political and military elements, he said today, which would "systematically degrade" the terror group.

He said: "We are going to be as part of an international coalition, carrying out air strikes in support of work on the ground by Iraqi troops, Kurdish troops.

"We are going to be helping to put together a plan for them, so that they can start retaking territory that ISIL (former name of IS) had taken over."

He said the West would "have to work hard" to attract back Sunni tribes in Iraq which were shunned by the Malaki government, which favoured Shia muslims with government appointments and alienated the Sunnis - who enjoyed more power under Saddam Hussein.

Islamic State:

He continued: "So there's going to be an economic element to this. There's going to be a political element to it. There's going to be a military element to it.

"And what I want people to understand, though, is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum of ISIL.

"We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities. We're going to shrink the territory that they control. And ultimately we're going to defeat them."

Obama was speaking after attending the Nato summit in Newport, Wales with other leaders of Nato countries.

Last week, former UK foreign secretary Jack Straw gave a withering critique of the president's foreign policy, saying: "Much though I respect him, I think, if you like, he is very long on analysis and not quite as fleet as foot at being decisive, and you need a balance if you are the president of the United States."