President Barack Obama strengthened his stance against ISIS at press conference held in Malaysia which ended his nine day trip abroad. Obama reaffirmed the United States commitment towards leading a global coalition against the ISIS.
President Obama referred to the group behind the Paris attacks as “a bunch of killers with good social media,” in a press conference Sunday in Malaysia. “They can’t beat us on the battlefield, so they try to terrorize us into being afraid, and changing our patterns of behavior, and panicking, and abandoning our allies and partners, and retreating from the world,” Obama said. “As president, I will not let that happen.” He said that “the most powerful tool” in resisting the extremist organization is refusing to be afraid.
Obamas powerful and assertive use of words on ISIS came after days of criticism in his response to the tragedy in Paris but he did not indicate any policy move from the administrations side.
It’s “absolutely false” that “we are somehow at war with an entire religion,” he said. “The United States could never be at any war with any religion because America is made up by multiple religions. We’re strengthened by people from every religion, including Muslim Americans. So I want to be as clear as I can on this — prejudice and discrimination helps (ISIS) and undermines our national security.” Obama described the outburst of violence in the Paris attacks as a “setback” in the battle against ISIS.
President Obama also persuaded Russian president Vladimir Putin to collaborate with the US-led coalition to carry out air strikes against ISIS, it is important to note that the militant group has been held responsible for bringing down a Russian passenger jet last month in which at least 224 people were killed.
Nearly five years of fighting between the Assad government and rebels has resulted in a vacuum that allowed Isis to flourish and advance their positions in both Syria and Iraq. French president François Hollande is expected to meet President Obama at the White House on Tuesday to discuss ways to strengthen and reinforce the international coalition. Hollande will then head to Russia for further talks with Putin. Meanwhile, President Obama is also expected to travel to Paris by the end of the month to Paris for a climate conference.
In response to the various questions and criticism addressed to Obama from some politicians’ opposition with regard to Syrian refugees entering the U.S. in the wake of the Paris attacks; a bill that passed the House of Representatives would stop the United States from accepting refugees from Syria and Iraq. “People have understandably been so concerned, given how similar Paris is to many American cities, that I get why legislation in the House moved forward quickly,” Obama said Sunday. “My hope though is, now that we have some time to catch our breath and take a look at this carefully, that people understand that refugees who end up in the United States are the most vetted, scrutinized, thoroughly investigated individuals that ever arrived on American shores.”