President Barack Obama said Wednesday that ISIS will pay for the ‘terrible attack’ the Istanbul airport that left 41 dead.
Obama said he called Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan on his way to Ottawa, Canada from Washington to extend his condolences and reaffirm the United States’ commitment to decimating the terrorist group.
‘They’re going to be defeated,’ Obama said. ‘We will not rest until we have dismantled these networks of hate that have an impact on the entire civilized world.’
A trio of suicide bombers detonated explosives in the busy airport on Monday, injuring 239 people, none of whom have been identified as Americans
The White House said Wednesday morning Obama told Erdogan over the phone that the United States would offer any support that the Turks can benefit from as they conduct this investigation and take steps to further strengthen the security.’
Obama indicated Wednesday in Canada that it was the United States’ belief that ISIS, referred to by his administration as ISIL, was behind the carnage.
His intelligence chief, John Brennan, also said this afternoon the terror attack ‘bears the hallmarks of ISIL’s depravity.’
Turkey’s government said earlier in the day on Wednesday that it had arrived at that conclusion after reviewing security tapes.
After extending his condolences, the American president said he reaffirmed to Erdogan ‘our strong commitment to partner with Turkey, with NATO, with the broad-based alliance that we have structured around the world to fight ISIL.’
‘It’s an indication of how little vicious these vicious organizations have to offer beyond killing innocents,’ the U.S. president said from Canada, where he was attending a summit with North American leaders.
Turkey shares a border with Syria and has been a key U.S. ally in the coalition to defeat the terror group
Obama said Wednesday in remarks after a bilateral meeting with Mexico that ISIS is in retreat and is ‘continually losing ground, unable to govern those areas that they have taken over.’
‘They’re going to be defeated in Syria, they’re going to be defeated in Iraq,’ he said. ‘They are going to be on the run wherever they hide.’
At a news conference Wednesday afternoon, he touched on the topic again, saying in his opening statement, ‘The prayers of the American people are with the people of Turkey, the people of Istanbul and all of those affected by this terrible crime.
‘We have offered all assistance that we have available to our ally, Turkey, and we stand prepared to assist them during this difficult time.’
Obama noted that law enforcement officials ‘are still learning all the facts’ but said ‘we know this is part of our broader, shared fight against terrorist networks and we will continue to work closely with Turkey to root them out.’
‘Meanwhile we’re going to do what’s necessary to protect our people,’ he said.
‘I’m confident that we can and we will defeat those who offer only death and destruction and we will always remember that even as there are those who try and divide us, that we are stronger when we come together and work toward a better world together.’