Obama asks for intensification of anti-ISIS efforts

During the meeting, Obama was briefed on ongoing US and coalition efforts to degrade ISIS' hold in Iraq and in Syria while also checking ISIS' ambitions for expansion outside those countries

PTI| Updated: May 11, 2016, 06:46 AM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has directed his national security team to intensify the anti-ISIS operations across all military and civilians front to degrade and destroy the dreaded terror organisation.

"The president directed his National Security Council to continue to intensify our counter-ISIL operations across all military and civilians front," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said yesterday.

The operations include disrupting foreign fighter networks, halting ISIS' expansion outside of Syria and Iraq, countering ISIS financing, disrupting any ISIS external plotting efforts and of course countering ISIS' propaganda and messaging, he said after Obama's meeting with his national security team at the White House.

During the meeting, Obama was briefed on ongoing US and coalition efforts to degrade ISIS' hold in Iraq and in Syria while also checking ISIS' ambitions for expansion outside those countries, Earnest said.

Noting that recent efforts to reinforce the cessation of hostilities in Syria, Obama and his team also discussed options to further advance a political resolution to the Syrian civil conflict while continuing our efforts to pressure ISIS there, he added.

In addition, assistance to President for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism Lisa Monaco was in Brussels to meet with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michelle and other Belgian security and intelligence officials.

The meeting is part of "our shared efforts" to disrupt terrorist plotting against the US and Europe and to degrade and destroy ISIS, Earnest said.
"Monaco's travel to Belgium is one of a series of high- level engagements we're undertaking with our coalition partners to discuss ways we can enhance our counter-terrorism cooperation.

"The people of Brussels know all to well that ISIS continues to both plot complex attacks against our interests and seeks to inspire lone wolfs, to attack us independently of ISIS command and control. That is why we are constantly looking at ways we can intensify our intelligence cooperation and further disrupt the flow of foreign fighters," he said.

"We will work to share with our partners lessons the US learned following the September 11 terrorist attacks about breaking down information stove pipes and protecting our homeland more effectively," Earnest added.