Qassem Says Obama Seeking to Contain IS Expansion in Region, Not End it

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Hizbullah deputy chief Sheikh Naim Qassem considered on Thursday that the United States inwardly accepts the presence of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant in the region.

“They are trying to prevent it from reaching its states but they don’t want it to end,” Qassem said in comments published in As Safir newspaper.

He lamented the international endeavors to end the dangers posed by the takfiris, pointing out that U.S. President Barack Obama’s speech on Wednesday eve was clear.

“Obama is seeking to control the threats imposed by the ISIL and destabilize some of its foals but is keen to maintain its role in the region to achieve political gains, in particular in Iraq and Syria,” the Hizbullah official stressed.

Obama said in a speech on the eve of the anniversary of the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, that he authorized airstrikes inside Syria, along with expanded strikes in Iraq as part of “a steady, relentless effort” to root out Islamic State extremists and their spreading reign of terror.

“We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are,” Obama declared.

“Our objective is clear: we will degrade, and ultimately destroy, ISIL through a comprehensive and sustained counter-terrorism strategy.”

The U.S. has been pressing allies in Europe, the Middle East and elsewhere to help with efforts to degrade the terror group.

The Islamic State, an extremist group, has gained prominence in recent months, declaring an Islamic “caliphate” in regions under its control in Iraq and Syria.

The IS and al-Qaida-linked al-Nusra Front also overran the Lebanese northeastern border town of Arsal last month, killing and kidnapping several soldiers.

The extremists have beheaded two of them.

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