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Obama: Islamic State 'Thugs' Are Dug in, but 'They Cannot Hide
President Barack Obama speaks to reporters following a National Security Council meeting on the counter-ISIL at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, December 14, 2015. AFP PHOTO / JIM WATSON / AFP / JIM WATSON (Photo credit should read JIM WATSON/AFP/Getty Images)

Obama: Islamic State 'Thugs' Are Dug in, but 'They Cannot Hide

President Barack Obama used tough talk at the Pentagon to warn Islamic State leaders of their defeat.

"As we squeeze its heart, we will make it harder for ISIL to pump the propaganda to the rest of the world," Obama said after a meeting with his National Security Council. "This fall, even before the revolting attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, I ordered new actions to intensify our war against ISIL. These actions including more firepower and special operations forces are well under way."

Obama said there were 9,000 strikes against the terror group as of Monday. He said that European allies are stepping up and that the U.S. is seeking more support from Middle East allies. Obama announced that Defense Secretary Ash Carter will travel to the Middle East to talk to allies there.

President Barack Obama speaks to reporters at the Pentagon Monday following a National Security Council meeting on fighting the Islamic State. (Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images)

"ISIL is dug in in, including in urban areas, and they hide behind the civilians, and using men, women and children as human shields," Obama said. "So even as we are relentless, we have to be smart and target ISIL with surgical precision.

"More people are seeing ISIL for the thieves and the thugs they are," Obama said. He added,"The point is that they cannot hide, and the next message to them is simple: You are next. Everyday we destroy every one of their weapons, bomb-making fac factory, and compounds and training camps."

The Republican National Committee criticized the speech.

“This politically motivated photo-op won’t do a thing to protect the American people from another attack," RNC spokesman Michael Short. "We need a new strategy to defeat ISIS and keep America safe from radical Islamic terrorists, not a new public relations campaign to protect President Obama and Hillary Clinton’s poll numbers.”

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