Thursday, August 28 2014, 05:01 PM EDT
President Obama Says 'We Don't Have a Strategy Yet' to Fight ISIS
President Obama admitted today that his administration does not have a strategy in combating the militant Islamic group ISIS that has grabbed large chunks of Iraq and Syria.
The president said he would be meeting today with the National Security Council.
“The options that I’m asking for from the Joint Chiefs focuses primarily on making sure that ISIL is not overrunning Iraq,” Obama said using another acronym for the militant Islamic group ISIS.
"We don’t have a strategy yet. We’re seeing some news reports suggesting we are further ahead than we are,” he said.
Obama said he is dispatching Secretary of State John Kerry to the area to work with allies, and ordered Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel to prepare “a range of options” as he considers future military action.
“As commander in chief, I will always do what is necessary to protect the American people,” he said during a news conference in the White House briefing room. “Our military action in Iraq has to be part of a broader comprehensive strategy."
The president promised to continue to consult with Congress in the days and weeks ahead.
Following his remarks, Obama will meet with his National Security Council in the Situation Room, with Vice President Joe Biden and Kerry.
Earlier this week, the president approved military surveillance flights over Syria, but air strikes in that country have not been authorized. U.S. military planes are carrying out airstrikes in Iraq.
Since video emerged Aug. 19 showing the beheading of American journalist James Foley, Obama has fought back against fresh criticism of his foreign policy, promising to be “relentless” in his fight against the emerging threat posed by ISIS.