At the Presidents Request

President Barack Obama has asked Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel to prepare a range of options to counter Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant,  and has instructed Secretary of State John Kerry to travel to the region to build a coalition in opposition to the group, he announced Thursday.

“My priority at this point is to make sure that the gains that ISIL made are rolled back and that Iraq” can secure itself, Obama said from the White House press briefing room. “Clearly ISIL has come to represent the very worst elements in the region that we have to deal with effectively.”

Airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq have been successful in destroying some of the group’s arms and equipment and will continue, Obama said, but there will be more than just a military response. “Our military action has to be part of a broader, more comprehensive strategy.”

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