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Obama: Attacks 'terrible' setback in Islamic State campaign

Published:Monday | November 16, 2015 | 10:31 AM
Schoolchildren light candles outside the French embassy for the victims killed in Friday’s terror in Paris in Vilnius, Lithuania, on Monday.
AP People pay their respect in front of a floral tribute near the Bataclan concert hall after Friday’s terror attacks in Paris, yesterday.
People react, in front of the restaurant Le Carillon, one of the establishments targeted in Friday’s gun and bomb attacks, in Paris, yesterday.


President Barack Obama yesterday conceded that the Paris terror attacks were a "terrible and sickening setback" in the fight against the Islamic State, but showed no indication of substantially changing his approach to defeating the extremist group.

"The strategy that we are putting forward is the strategy that is ultimately is going to work," Obama said. "It's going to take time."

Closing two days of talks with world leaders, the president forcefully dismissed calls from critics, including some Republican presidential candidates, to send US und troops into Syria. He said taking that step "would be a mistake" and wouldn't work unless the US was committed to being a permanent occupying force in the region.

Speaking in a measured tone, Obama said the US would intensify its campaign of airstrikes and arming and training moderate forces. And he called on other nations to step up their involvement in the fight against the extremists.

The president also announced a new effort to share intelligence with France following the coordinated terror spree across Paris that killed at least 129 people.