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Obama says Islamic State group 'is on defense'

Obama says Islamic State group ‘is on defense’

WASHINGTON: US President Barack Obama on Tuesday said the Islamic State group (Daesh) was losing ground in Iraq and Syria, and that the number of foreign fighters joining the extremists was plummeting.

“ISIL lost nearly half of the populated territory it had in Iraq and it will lose more. ISIL continues to lose ground in Syria as well,” Obama said after a meeting of the National Security Council on the fight against the extremist terrorist group.

“In short, our coalition continues to be on offense. ISIL is on defense,” Obama said, using an alternate acronym for the group.

Obama slams Trump’s ‘loose talk’ over Muslims

The US president also charged that “loose talk” about Muslims by presidential hopeful Donald Trump and other Republicans was betraying American values and harming the fight against extremism.

“We’re starting to see where this kind of rhetoric and loose talk and sloppiness about who exactly we’re fighting, where this can lead us,” Obama told a news conference, two days after the Orlando attacks.

“We now have proposals from the presumptive Republican nominee for president of the United States to bar all Muslims from emigrating to America – language that singles out immigrants and suggests entire religious communities are complicit in violence. Where does this stop?”

‘You are not alone’

US President Obama also voiced solidarity with the LGBT community after the deadly mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, calling the gunman an “angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalized.”

“You are not alone. The American people and our allies and friends all over the world stand with you,” Obama said after the National Security Council meeting, called before the Orlando attack to discuss the US-led campaign against the Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria.

The IS group claimed responsibility for the shooting in Orlando early Sunday. The gunman, Omar Mateen, pledged allegiance to the IS leader in 911 calls made during the attack, the FBI said.

Courtesy : TheNews



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