Washington, Sep 11: Unveiling its comprehensive counter-terrorism strategy, US today vowed to “degrade and destroy” the Islamic State (IS) with air strikes and said terrorists who threaten America will find “no safe haven”. President Barack Obama in a nationally televised speech warned IS, the feared al-Qaeda splinter terrorist group which has seized hundreds of square miles in Iraq and Syria and killed thousands of people in both the countries.

“We will degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy,” Obama said. As part of the plan, the President said that the US will expand its efforts beyond protecting its own people and humanitarian missions. “This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out ISIL wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner’s forces on the ground,” Obama said. “I’ve made it clear that we will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country wherever they are,” he said.

“That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency: if you threaten America, you will find no safe haven,” he said. The US President however set no timeline to achieve the goal to defeat ISIL, for which, he said, several dozen countries have joined the US-led international coalition. “America will lead a broad coalition to roll back this terrorist threat,” he said, noting that the US will conduct a systematic campaign of airstrikes against these terrorists.

“Working with the Iraqi government, we will expand our efforts beyond protecting our own people and humanitarian missions so that we’re hitting ISIL targets as Iraqi forces go on offense,” he added. Secondly, the US will increase its support to forces fighting these terrorists on the ground, he said, and announced his decision to send an additional 475 service members to Iraq.