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Sep 19, 2014

U.S. won’t telegraph when Syria strikes will begin: Rice

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Ten days after President Barack Obama said he had authorized U.S. air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria, the White House gave no sign on Friday that attacks were imminent as he prepared to meet world leaders at the United Nations.

At a White House briefing, national security adviser Susan Rice was vague as to when the new air campaign might begin in Syria, and whether Obama would in fact sign off on any final attack plan developed by the Pentagon.

Sep 18, 2014

Ukraine president secures U.S. military aid but not weapons

WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) – Ukraine President Petro
Poroshenko secured $53 million in assistance from the United
States on Thursday but President Barack Obama for now turned
down his appeals for weapons to fight Russian-backed
separatists.

Images of Poroshenko sitting side by side with Obama in the
Oval Office and of the warm reception he received in a speech to
Congress projected a symbolic show of solidarity with the
Ukraine leader as he faces down Russia’s incursion.

Sep 18, 2014

U.S. giving $53 million in new aid for Ukraine’s struggle with Russian incursion

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The United States pledged $53 million in fresh aid to Ukraine on Thursday for its struggle against Russia’s incursion, including counter-mortar radar equipment, in a gesture of support for visiting Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko.

Senior Obama administration officials said the new assistance would include $46 million to bolster Ukraine’s security in its conflict with Russian-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine and $7 million in humanitarian aid.

Sep 17, 2014

Biden triggers 2016 speculation with Iowa visit

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – In the 2016 Democratic presidential competition there is Hillary Clinton and everyone else, all powerful politicians who could make a credible run should she decide not to seek the presidency.

Vice President Joe Biden is at the top of that group, which also includes Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren. Biden’s visit to Iowa on Wednesday for a relatively minor event speaks volumes about his desire to keep his name relevant in the 2016 discussion.

Sep 15, 2014

U.S. to Assad: Beware of interfering with U.S. air power in Syria

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Syrian military’s air defenses would face retaliation if Syria attempted to respond to U.S. air strikes that are expected against Islamic State targets in Syria, senior U.S. officials said on Monday.

President Barack Obama’s authorization of the use of American air power against Islamic State’s strongholds in Syria has raised the question of whether Syrian President Bashar al-Assad would respond in some way.

Sep 12, 2014

Obama says need to ‘snuff out’ militant groups like Islamic State

BALTIMORE (Reuters) – President Barack Obama said on Friday the goal of an international coalition he is helping to form is to “ultimately snuff out” the type of extremism demonstrated by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.

It is a “sobering time,” said Obama at a Democratic fund-raising event in Baltimore following his decision to authorize U.S. air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time, and to add to targeted areas in Iraq.

Sep 11, 2014

Obama orders U.S. airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told Americans on Wednesday he had authorized U.S. airstrikes for the first time in Syria and more attacks in Iraq in a broad escalation of a campaign against the Islamic State militant group.

Obama’s decision to launch attacks inside Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year civil war, showed the seriousness of the threat American officials see from Islamic State. A year ago, the president shied away from airstrikes against Syria’s government for its use of chemical weapons against Syrians.

Sep 10, 2014

Obama prepared to authorize air strikes in Syria against Islamic State

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama will vow on Wednesday to attack Islamic State militants “wherever they exist” in a speech to Americans expected to lay out a strategy for expanding U.S. air strikes in Iraq and, for the first time, striking targets in Syria.

Obama will stress in his 9 p.m. (0100 GMT Thursday) speech from the White House that he will not send U.S. combat troops to fight the al Qaeda-like group, and that the United States will act in concert with a broad coalition including Western allies and Arab states.

Sep 9, 2014

Ahead of speech, Obama briefs Congress on Islamic State strategy

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – President Barack Obama told leaders of Congress on Tuesday that he did not need for them to authorize his strategy to fight Islamic State, ahead of a speech to Americans that may herald expanded operations against the group in Iraq and perhaps Syria.

Obama’s White House speech at 9 p.m. ET on Wednesday (0100 GMT on Thursday) will be his most significant effort to outline a strategy against a group whose savage methods have included the beheading of two American captives.

Sep 6, 2014

Strategy against Islamic State in hand, Obama now must make it work

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – It took President Barack Obama and his top aides a week to explain that he does in fact have a strategy for confronting the Islamic State militancy. Now he has to prove that he can make it work.

Obama has embarked on building what is basically the third major U.S.-backed international coalition of the past 23 years to take on a challenge emanating from Iraq. The other two were constructed by former presidents George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush against the late Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein.

    • About Steve

      "A native of Chattanooga, Tennessee, Steve has worked for Reuters in Washington for 20 years, and spent 16 of those years at the White House covering Presidents Bush, Clinton and Bush. He covered the 2008 presidential campaign."
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