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Aug 22, 2014

White House defends Obama’s golf outings during crises

By Steve Holland

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama delivered a somber statement on the death of American journalist James Foley after a video emerged showing Foley’s grisly execution by Islamic State militants. Then Obama proceeded directly to a golf course to play 18 holes.

That juxtaposition of events on Wednesday drew Obama a fair amount of criticism as he tries to juggle the U.S. response to rapidly unfolding world crises while taking some time to relax during a two-week August vacation that has been frequently interrupted.

Aug 22, 2014

U.S. considering taking fight against Islamic State into Syria

By Steve Holland

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – The United States is considering taking the fight against Islamic State militants into Syria after days of airstrikes against the group in Iraq and the beheading of an American journalist, the White House signaled on Friday.

President Barack Obama, soon to end a two-week working vacation on the Massachusetts island of Martha’s Vineyard, has not yet been presented with military options for attacking Islamic State targets beyond two important areas in Iraq, said White House deputy national security adviser Ben Rhodes.

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. forces tried but failed to rescue U.S. hostages in Syria

By Missy Ryan and Steve Holland

WASHINGTON/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – U.S. forces attempted to rescue journalist James Foley and other American hostages during a secret mission into Syria and exchanged gunfire with Islamic State militants only to discover the captives were not there, officials said on Wednesday.

The mission, authorized by President Barack Obama based on U.S. intelligence, took place earlier this summer. Officials disclosed the mission a day after a video surfaced showing a militant beheading the 40-year-old Foley.

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. forces attempted but failed to rescue U.S. hostages in Syria

, Aug 20 (Reuters) – U.S. forces
attempted to rescue journalist James Foley and other American
hostages during a secret mission into Syria and exchanged
gunfire with Islamic State militants only to discover the
captives were not there, officials said on Wednesday.

The mission, authorized by President Barack Obama based on
U.S. intelligence, took place earlier this summer. Officials
disclosed the mission a day after a video surfaced showing a
militant beheading the 40-year-old Foley.

Aug 21, 2014

U.S. military failed in rescue attempt for journalist Foley

, Aug 20 (Reuters) – The U.S.
military earlier this summer carried out an attempt to rescue
journalist James Foley and other American hostages held in
Syria, a U.S. official said on Wednesday, in an operation that
the Pentagon said ultimately failed to find the captives.

Foley, 40, was beheaded by an Islamic State militant in a
video that surfaced on the Internet on Tuesday. President Barack
Obama expressed revulsion on Wednesday at the execution and
vowed the United States would do what it must to protect its
citizens.

Aug 21, 2014

Obama condemns killing of reporter, U.S. hits militants in Iraq

By Alexander Dziadosz and Steve Holland

BAGHDAD/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama expressed revulsion on Wednesday at the beheading of an American journalist by Islamist militants and vowed the United States would do what it must to protect its citizens as international condemnation of the insurgents grew.

Not long after Obama called Islamic State a “cancer” with a bankrupt ideology, the Pentagon said U.S. aircraft conducted 14 air strikes in the vicinity of Iraq’s Mosul Dam, destroying or damaging militants’ Humvees, trucks and explosives.

Aug 20, 2014

McCain calls for dramatic increase in U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State

By Steve Holland

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – Republican Senator John McCain called on Wednesday for a dramatic increase in U.S. airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and said the attacks should also extend into Syria.

McCain told Reuters that the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants should serve as a turning point for President Barack Obama’s deliberations on how to deal with the group.

Aug 20, 2014

Obama says beheading ‘shocked the conscience’ of the world

By Alexander Dziadosz and Steve Holland

BAGHDAD/EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday the beheading of American journalist James Foley by Islamic State militants “shocked the conscience of the entire world” and he vowed the United States would do what it must to protect its citizens.

U.S. officials, meanwhile, said American warplanes continued to strike IS targets in Iraq.  

Aug 20, 2014

Obama: U.S. will be relentless with Islamic State after beheading

By Steve Holland and Elizabeth Barber

EDGARTOWN Mass. (Reuters) – President Barack Obama on Wednesday vowed that the United States will not be swayed from airstrikes against Islamic State after the group beheaded an American journalist, an act he said is proof that the militants stand for no religion.

Obama’s response to the execution of James Foley marked his strongest condemnation yet of Islamic State militants, and he gave no sign of a pause in U.S. targeting of militant positions in Iraq.

Aug 18, 2014

Obama urges Iraqis to unite because ‘the wolf’s at the door’

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. President Barack Obama urged Iraqis on Monday to quickly form an inclusive government to unite against Islamic militants, warning “the wolf’s at the door” and that U.S. airstrikes can only accomplish so much.

Speaking to reporters at the White House, Obama vowed to avoid the kind of “mission creep” that could deepen the U.S. military’s involvement in Iraq to repulse Islamic State militants seen increasingly as a threat not just to Iraq but to the entire region.

    • 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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