Obama under pressure to expand strikes on ISIS into Syria - KPTV - FOX 12

Obama under pressure to expand strikes on ISIS into Syria

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U.S. airstrikes have hit ISIS targets in Iraq helping Iraqi forces and Kurds win back some ground. (Source: FOX) U.S. airstrikes have hit ISIS targets in Iraq helping Iraqi forces and Kurds win back some ground. (Source: FOX)

WASHINGTON, DC (FOX) - The White House is under pressure to take the fight to Islamic militants even further than Iraq.

And a chilling warning from the nation's top two military officials who say the terror group ISIS is more dangerous than al-Qaida was before 9-11.

A day after Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel warned Americans that ISIS is beyond anything we've seen and to quote "get ready," the Pentagon went into damage control mode trying to explain what has changed since the president called ISIS jayvee terrorists in January.

"This is August. You're talking about comments that were made in January. ISIL, and we've been watching this for months, they have grown in capability," said Rear Adm. John Kirby, the Pentagon press secretary.

The president has drawn a line, limiting U.S. airstrikes against ISIS targets to the Iraq side of the border.

In January this is how he described ISIS in an interview with The New Yorker magazine:

"The analogy we use around here sometimes, and I think is accurate, is if a jayvee team puts on Lakers uniforms that doesn't make them Kobe Bryant," Obama said.

But most at the Pentagon say they have been warning about the ISIS threat for some time, which is why the chairman of the Joint Chiefs indicated more needs to be done to defeat ISIS.

"This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated. To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no," said Gen. Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

An assessment bolstered by the president's own defense secretary.

"ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They're beyond just a terrorist group. Oh, this is beyond anything that we've seen. So we must prepare for everything," Hagel said.

On Friday, ISIS issued a not so veiled threat. This time via Twitter:

"We will deliver the next message with a new American victim as a courier mail," ISIS said.

The Foley family, meanwhile, decided to release the last e-mail sent to them by their son's ISIS captors:

"You and your citizens will pay the price of your bombings! The first of which being the blood of the American citizen, James Foley! He will be executed as a direct result of your transgressions towards us!"

If there was any doubt about how brutal they are, a suspected ISIS suicide bomber and gunmen attacked a Sunni mosque north of Baghdad on Friday killing 64 Iraqis in an area where Sunnis had resisted pledging allegiance to the terrorist group.

Copyright 2014 FOX. All rights reserved.

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