World America 16 Jul 2016 US at war with al-Qa ...

US at war with al-Qaeda since 9/11: White House

PTI
Published Jul 16, 2016, 1:04 pm IST
Updated Jul 16, 2016, 1:04 pm IST
White House said core al-Qaeda that previously used to operate and live with impunity in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region has been decimated.
Barack Obama has said on a number of occasions that terrorists and al-Qaeda declared war on the United States on 9/11, and we have been at war with them ever since. (Photo: AFP)
 Barack Obama has said on a number of occasions that terrorists and al-Qaeda declared war on the United States on 9/11, and we have been at war with them ever since. (Photo: AFP)

Washington: Echoing the views of the two presidential candidates, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton that the US is at war with terror groups, the White House on Saturday said the country has been at war with al-Qaeda since 9/11 and important progress has been made on that front.

"The (US) President has said on a number of occasions that terrorists and al-Qaeda declared war on the United States on 9/11, and we have been at war with them ever since. And we have made important progress in that war," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters.

 

Earnest made the remarks while responding to questions from reporters on remarks made by both, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and her Republican rival Donald Trump after the terrorist attack in France on Thursday that the US is at war against Islamic extremists.

The two candidates meant ISIS and did not mention al- Qaeda in their interviews.
The White House said core al-Qaeda that previously used to operate and live with impunity in the Afghanistan-Pakistan region has been decimated. There are al-Qaeda affiliates in other parts of the world that are the source of ongoing concern.

 

"There are also organisations like ISIL that trace their roots back to al-Qaeda, and obviously, that's one extremist organisation that does pose a threat and has attracted the intense attention of the United States and the international coalition that we lead," Earnest said. Earnest said Obama has been pretty unequivocal about all of that.

"We've also been quite unequivocal about the fact that we're still waiting on Congress to pass an authorisation to use military force against ISIL. I know there are some critics of the administration who like to talk tough and suggest that somehow we need to declare war on ISIL. I would encourage those individuals to consult a copy of the United States Constitution that many of them carry around in their suit pocket," he said in an apparent criticism of Trump saying that he would approach the Congress to declare war against such groups.

 

"They often wield that as evidence of their patriotism. Well, I would encourage them to consider that document carefully and actually remind themselves that it's Congress who has the authority to declare war," he said.

It is now been almost a year and half since Obama sent up legislative language for an authorisation to use military force that the Congress should pass.

"And passing that authorisation to use military force would send a clear signal to the American people, to our allies, and yes, to our enemies that the United States is united behind the President's strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL," he said.

 

"The truth of the matter is, our men and women in the intelligence community and our men and women in the military are doing their part to take the fight to ISIL, and it's time for members of Congress to do their job," Earnest said.

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