Home Breaking News Barack Obama meets congressional leaders over ISIS threat

Barack Obama meets congressional leaders over ISIS threat


President Barack Obama has met Congressional leaders to outline and press his case for an expanded military campaign against Islamic State (ISIS) militants in Iraq and Syria.

Barack Obama is discussing his strategy with leaders from both parties at the White House.

The talks come ahead of the president’s speech to the nation on Wednesday night.

It is not clear whether Barack Obama will seek Congressional authorization for an increased military role.

Tuesday’s meeting with Congressional leaders comes a year after lawmakers blocked Barack Obama’s previous plans for missile strikes against Syria.

Since then, the ISIS jihadist group has taken control of large swathes of Iraq and Syria.

In June it declared the creation of a “caliphate” or Islamic state.

In the past month, ISIS militants have beheaded two American journalists in protest against US airstrikes on its forces in Iraq.

Barack Obama has ruled out the possibility of a US ground operation against ISIS but has signaled he may expand airstrikes to include Syria.

While leaders in Congress have made it clear they are not interested in pursuing a vote on military action, some lawmakers have said any airstrikes or military action should be authorised by them.

Barack Obama has ruled out the possibility of a US ground operation against ISIS but has signaled he may expand airstrikes to include Syria

Barack Obama has ruled out the possibility of a US ground operation against ISIS but has signaled he may expand airstrikes to include Syria (photo NBC)

Republican Senator Rand Paul told the website Politico that if Barack Obama does not ask for authorization, “it would show a disregard for the Constitution, and for the history of our country”.

Other lawmakers are more cautious about committing themselves to potentially risky military action, especially with the approach of Congressional mid-term elections in November.

According to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll, a large majority of the American public views ISIS as a serious threat to the US and widely supports airstrikes in Iraq and Syria.

About 100 Americans are believed to have joined the militants and the US state department has tried to counter this by making a hard-hitting video that tries to dissuade potential recruits.

Barack Obama’s press secretary, Josh Earnest, told Politico on September 8 the president was hoping for a “buy-in” from Congress.

Meanwhile, France has announced it will host an international conference on Iraq on September 15 and President Francois Hollande will visit the country later this week.

On September 8, the US hailed the creation of a new government in Iraq as a major milestone and a crucial step toward defeating the militant group.

Secretary of State John Kerry said Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s cabinet had the “potential to unite all of Iraq’s diverse communities”.

Posts have been shared between the Shia Arab majority, Sunni Arabs and Kurds.

The US had made the approval of a unity government a condition for increased military assistance.

John Kerry is travelling to Saudi Arabia and Jordan this week as part of efforts to build a coalition to confront ISIS.

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Diane is a perfectionist. She enjoys searching the internet for the hottest events from around the world and writing an article about it. The details matter to her, so she makes sure the information is easy to read and understand. She likes traveling and history, especially ancient history. Being a very sociable person she has a blast having barbeque with family and friends.