US mission is to destroy ISIL; America stands with Orlando gay community: Barack Obama

President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed to completely destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) saying that the US military will continue to fight against all those who want to wage a war between Islam and America.

Last Updated: Jun 14, 2016, 23:34 PM IST
US mission is to destroy ISIL; America stands with Orlando gay community: Barack Obama

White House: President Barack Obama on Tuesday vowed to completely destroy the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) saying that the US military will continue to fight against all those who want to wage a war between Islam and America.

''Our mission is to destroy ISIL. This continues to be a difficult fight but we are making significant progress,'' US President Obama said.

President Obama made this remark in a televised address to the nation following a National Security Council meeting called to discuss the Orlando shooting and the growing threats posed by the militant group ISIL.

 

 

Coming down heavily on the ISIS, Obama said, ''We’ve taken out more than 120 top ISIL leaders and commanders. ISIL has now lost nearly half of the populated territory it once controlled in Iraq and it will lose more.''

We have to make it harder for people who want kill Americans to get their hands on weapons that let them kill dozens, the US President said.

They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over a billion Muslims around the World who reject their crazy notions. Groups like ISIL and al Qaeda want to make this war, a war between Islam and America or a war between Islam and the West, Obama added.

 

 

Calling on for tough response to the ISIS-sponsored terrorism, President Obama said, ''Be tough on terrorism. Stop making it easy as possible for terrorists to buy assault weapons.''

"That's the American military. That's America—one team, one nation. Those are the values that ISIL's trying to destroy," Obama said.

In an appeal to the Orlando gay community, Obama said, ''You are not alone.''

Obama said the country`s thoughts were with survivors and relatives of the dead, as well as the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community "who were targeted."

"The American people and our allies and friends all over the world stand with you," Obama said.

President Obama sharply rebuked critics who say he should condemn terrorists as "radical Islamists," saying calling the Islamic State by another name will do nothing to defeat it - and could be counter-productive.

"What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies, is there a military strategy that is served by this?" he said. "The answer is none of the above."

Obama also scolded Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump for his proposal to call a temporary moratorium on Muslims entering the country.

"Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, or the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer - they were all US citizens. Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently?" he said. "It makes Muslim Americans feel like their government has betrayed them," he added.

 

 

Obama's address comes days after a IS-inspired gunman Omar Mateen attacked a nightclub in Orlando killing at least 50 people.  The attack is the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Mateen called 911 before the shooting to express his support for ISIS, according to the FBI, and his affinity for the terrorist organization, along with previous attacks around the world by ISIS supporters, has once again placed the group in the center of the national security conversation.