Expressing strong support for the French people in the aftermath of the recent terrorist attacks in Paris, President Obama said he agreed and French President Francois Hollande had agreed to said he had agreed to broader intelligence sharing for military action against the Islamic State, as the President said additional measures would be taken inside Syria.
“The question now is how can we accelerate it,” as President Obama said he had ordered the Pentagon to come up with new efforts against the Islamic State even before the Paris attacks.
“We intend to execute on those plans,” Mr. Obama said, though he did not detail to reporters what new measures might be taken by the United States, as the President again left the door open for other nations to step forward.
“There may be new openness of other coalition members,” the President added.
One thing that will not happen is an infusion of French troops into Syria, as President Hollande very clearly ruled out that possibility.
Both leaders also very publicly urged the Russians to train more of their energy in Syria on the Islamic State, arguing that is the enemy that needs the most attention from the world.
“Russia is the outlier,” said President Obama, bluntly saying that Moscow needs to stop trying to prop up the Assad regime in Syria.
Asked about the shoot down of a Russian war plane by Turkey, the President joined the NATO chief in urging both nations not to escalate this dispute.
“Hopefully this is a moment where all parties can step back,” the President told a news conference, though he also chided the Russians for conducting military operations so close to the Turkish border.
“My top priority is going to be to ensure that this does not escalate,” Mr. Obama said.