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President Obama to Lay Out Plan to Address ISIS in Rare Prime-Time Address

UPDATE: A summary of the president’s speech, along with its full text, can be found here.

On Wednesday night at 9 p.m. EST, President Obama will give a televised address to inform the country of his administration’s long-term strategy regarding the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria, the barbaric militant group that has taken over parts of the Middle East.

The Islamic State, abbreviated as either ISIS or ISIL, released videos in the past few weeks showing the decapitations of two American journalists, James Foley and Steven Sotloff. This followed several months during which ISIS invaded and won large swaths of territory in Syria, which has endured a bloody civil war for three years, and Iraq, which American troops left in 2011 after nine years of conflict and occupation.

Tonight’s comments from the president are an attempt to lay out what the American people should expect in response to ISIS’s actions and provocations. Here are some of the main points he will announce tonight:

  • The U.S. will lead a large coalition of countries to degrade and destroy ISIS, though there will be no placing of American ground troops in harm’s way. “It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil,” the president plans to say.
  • The U.S. will increase air strikes against ISIS, including in Syria. American jets have executed more than 150 bombing missions already, but all of those have been in Iraq. Syria, though, is where ISIS is based and where it is strongest.
  • The U.S. will send aid to rebels in Syria, including both arms and training. These rebels are fighting against both ISIS and Syrian president Bashar al-Assad.
Further excerpts from tonight’s speech, including how Congress must act in order to approve these actions, can be found here.

 This post will be updated shortly after the address to include any new information.

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