Obama directs security team to continue to intensify operations against IS — White House

WASHINGTON, May 10 (KUNA) — President Barack Obama on Tuesday directed his National Security Council (NSC) to continue to intensify operations across all military and civilian fronts to counter the so-called Islamic State (IS), White House press secretary Josh Earnest said.
The actions include disrupting foreign fighter networks, halting IS expansion outside of Syria and Iraq, countering IS financing, disrupting IS external plotting efforts and countering IS propaganda and messaging, Earnest said during a briefing.
During his meeting with the NSC, Obama was briefed on ongoing US and coalition efforts to degrade IS in Iraq and in Syria while also checking IS ambitions for expansion outside those countries, Earnest said.
Noting recent efforts to reinforce the cessation of hostilities in Syria, the president and his team also discussed options “to further advance a political resolution to the Syrian civil conflict” while continuing efforts to pressure IS in Syria, Earnest said.
Lisa Monaco, assistant to the president for Homeland Security and Counter-terrorism, was in Brussels on Tuesday to meet with Belgian Prime Minister Charles Michelle and other Belgian security and intelligence officials “in our shared efforts to disrupt terrorist plotting against the United States and Europe” and to degrade and destroy IS, Earnest said.
Monaco also was to meet with senior European Union (EU) officials “to discuss how we can support EU efforts to strengthen counter-terrorism coordination among its members,” Earnest said.
Monaco’s travel to Belgium “is one of a series of high-level engagements we are undertaking with our coalition partners to discuss ways we can enhance our counter- terrorism cooperation,” Earnest said. (end) rm.ibi

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