Obama to give speech Wednesday on Islamic State

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Obama to give speech Wednesday on Islamic State
President Barack Obama, right, meets with King Abdullah II of Jordan in the Oval Office of the White House, on Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2015, in Washington. The meeting comes after Jordanian Air Force pilot First Lt. Moaz al-Kasasbeh was executed by the Islamic State group. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Obama's National Prayer Breakfast speech Thursday was criticized after he compared the actions of ISIS to slavery in the U.S. and the Crusades.
Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, after a US-led coalition strike as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar in the Sanliurfa province on October 15, 2014. US-led aircraft will continue bombing near the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab (Kobane) and in western Iraq, President Barack Obama said after talks with military leaders from an international coalition fighting the Islamic State group. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama speaks about the report of a video released by the Islamic State depicting the killing of a Jordanian fighter pilot, during an unrelated meeting with Americans who say they have benefited from the Affordable Care Act, commonly known as 'Obamacare,' in the Roosevelt Room of the White House in Washington, DC, February 3, 2015. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, after a US-led coalition strike as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar in the Sanliurfa province on October 15, 2014. US-led aircraft will continue bombing near the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab (Kobane) and in western Iraq, President Barack Obama said after talks with military leaders from an international coalition fighting the Islamic State group. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (L) testifies beside Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey (R), during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Obama administration's strategy and military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, United States on November 13, 2014. (Photo by Erkan Avci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 13: Chairman of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey testifies beside US Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel (not seen), during the House Armed Services Committee hearing on the Obama administration's strategy and military campaign against the Islamic State of Iraq and Levant (ISIL), at Capitol Hill in Washington DC, United States on November 13, 2014. (Photo by Erkan Avci/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
Smoke rises from the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab, known as Kobane by the Kurds, after a US-led coalition strike as seen from the Turkish-Syrian border in the southeastern village of Mursitpinar in the Sanliurfa province on October 15, 2014. US-led aircraft will continue bombing near the Syrian town of Ain al-Arab (Kobane) and in western Iraq, President Barack Obama said after talks with military leaders from an international coalition fighting the Islamic State group. AFP PHOTO / ARIS MESSINIS (Photo credit should read ARIS MESSINIS/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama chairs a special meeting of the UN security council during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2014 in New York. Obama pitched an international counterterrorism resolution during his second appearance as chair of the United Nations Security Council. The president called on nations to stop the flow of foreign fighters to groups such as the Islamic State (IS) group, according to administration officials. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama arrives with Secretary of State John Kerry (rear) to chair a special meeting of the UN security council during the 69th Session of the UN General Assembly on September 24, 2014 in New York. Obama on Wednesday led the UN Security Council in unanimously approving a binding resolution on stemming the flow of foreign jihadists to Iraq and Syria. The resolution requires all countries to adopt laws that would make it a serious crime for their nationals to join jihadist groups such as Islamic State and Al-Nusra Front. AFP PHOTO / Timothy A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama delivers a prime time address from the Cross Hall of the White House on September 10, 2014 in Washington, DC. Vowing to target the Islamic State with air strikes 'wherever they exist', Obama pledged to lead a broad coalition to fight IS and work with 'partner forces' on the ground in Syria and Iraq. AFP PHOTO/POOL/Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US Secretary of State John Kerry looks out over Baghdad from a helicopter on September 10, 2014. Kerry flew into Iraq today for talks with its new leaders on their role in a long-awaited new strategy against Islamic State jihadists to be unveiled by President Barack Obama. AFP PHOTO/POOL/BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI (Photo credit should read BRENDAN SMIALOWSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama, watch as the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team perform a flypast during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Newport, U.K., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Obama, after levying sharp criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and promising decisive action against Islamic State, is working to take advantage of growing international uneasiness to rally NATO into action. Photographer: Rowan Griffiths/Pool via Bloomberg
David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama, center, react as they talk with Traian Basescu, Romania's president, ahead of a flypast by the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Newport, U.K., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Obama, after levying sharp criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and promising decisive action against Islamic State, is working to take advantage of growing international uneasiness to rally NATO into action. Photographer: Rowan Griffiths/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama pauses during a televised address at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Obama pledged a relentless campaign to destroy Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, with Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan playing crucial supporting roles. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama speaks during a televised address at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Obama pledged a relentless campaign to destroy Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, with Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan playing crucial supporting roles. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama leaves after speaking during a televised address at the White House in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Wednesday, Sept. 10, 2014. Obama pledged a relentless campaign to destroy Islamic State extremists in Iraq and Syria, with Middle Eastern allies such as Saudi Arabia and Jordan playing crucial supporting roles. Photographer: Saul Loeb/Pool via Bloomberg
David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, left, reacts as he talks with U.S. President Barack Obama, ahead of a flypast by the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Newport, U.K., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Obama, after levying sharp criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and promising decisive action against Islamic State, is working to take advantage of growing international uneasiness to rally NATO into action. Photographer: Rowan Griffiths/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama, waits ahead of a flypast by the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Newport, U.K., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Obama, after levying sharp criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and promising decisive action against Islamic State, is working to take advantage of growing international uneasiness to rally NATO into action. Photographer: Rowan Griffiths/Pool via Bloomberg
U.S. President Barack Obama, waits ahead of a flypast by the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Newport, U.K., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Obama, after levying sharp criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and promising decisive action against Islamic State, is working to take advantage of growing international uneasiness to rally NATO into action. Photographer: Rowan Griffiths/Pool via Bloomberg
US President Barack Obama speaks at a press conference on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. The United States urged Western allies at a NATO summit Friday to unite in a coalition that could 'destroy' Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
President Barack Obama speaks in Edgartown, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, about the killing of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group. The president said the US will continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite the brutal murder of journalist James Foley. Obama said the entire world is "appalled" by Foley's killing. The president says he spoke Wednesday with Foley's family and offered condolences. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)
President Barack Obama speaks in Edgartown, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, about the killing of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group. The president said the US will continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite the brutal murder of journalist James Foley. Obama said the entire world is "appalled" by Foley's killing. The president says he spoke Wednesday with Foley's family and offered condolences. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
President Barack Obama pauses as he speaks in Edgartown, Mass., Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014, about the killing of American journalist James Foley by militants with the Islamic State extremist group. The president said the US will continue to confront Islamic State extremists despite the brutal murder of journalist James Foley. Obama said the entire world is "appalled" by Foley's killing. The president says he spoke Wednesday with Foley's family and offered condolences. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
Diane and John Foley talk to reporters after speaking with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 outside their home in Rochester, N.H. Their son, James Foley was abducted in November 2012 while covering the Syrian conflict. Islamic militants posted a video showing his murder on Tuesday and said they killed him because the U.S. had launched airstrikes in northern Iraq. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
John and Diane Foley talk to reporters after speaking with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 outside their home in Rochester, N.H. Their son, James Foley was abducted in November 2012 while covering the Syrian conflict. Islamic militants posted a video showing his murder on Tuesday and said they killed him because the U.S. had launched airstrikes in northern Iraq. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Diane and John Foley talk to reporters after speaking with U.S. President Barack Obama Wednesday, Aug. 20, 2014 outside their home in Rochester, N.H. Their son, James Foley was abducted in November 2012 while covering the Syrian conflict. Islamic militants posted a video showing his murder on Tuesday and said they killed him because the U.S. had launched airstrikes in northern Iraq. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
US President Barack Obama makes a statement at Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, on August 20, 2014. The United States has carried out more air strikes in Iraq, a senior US defense official said, as Islamic militants threaten to execute a second US journalist. AFP PHOTO/Nicholas KAMM (Photo credit should read NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP/Getty Images)
FILE - In this Friday, May 27, 2011, file photo, journalist James Foley responds to questions during an interview with The Associated Press, in Boston. A video by Islamic State militants that purports to show the killing of Foley by the militant group was released Tuesday, Aug. 19, 2014. Foley, from Rochester, N.H., went missing in 2012 in northern Syria while on assignment for Agence France-Press and the Boston-based media company GlobalPost. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
FILE - In this May 27, 2011 file photo, American journalist James Foley, of Rochester, N.H., who was last seen on Nov. 22 2012 in northwest Syria, poses for a photo in Boston. Foley's family plans to mark his 40th birthday with a plea for his safe return. His parents, John and Diane Foley, will lead a prayer vigil Friday evening, Oct. 17, 2013 at a church in Rochester. (AP Photo/Steven Senne, File)
TODAY -- Pictured: (l-r) Parents of kidnapped journalist James Foley, Diane Foley and John Foley appear on NBC News' 'Today' show -- (Photo by: Peter Kramer/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama gestures during a press conference on the second day of the NATO 2014 Summit at the Celtic Manor Resort in Newport, South Wales, on September 5, 2014. The United States urged Western allies at a NATO summit Friday to unite in a coalition that could 'destroy' Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
David Cameron, U.K. prime minister, left, and U.S. President Barack Obama, watch as the British Royal Air Force's (RAF) Red Arrows aerobatic team perform a flypast during the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit in Newport, U.K., on Friday, Sept. 5, 2014. Obama, after levying sharp criticism of Russian President Vladimir Putin and promising decisive action against Islamic State, is working to take advantage of growing international uneasiness to rally NATO into action. Photographer: Rowan Griffiths/Pool via Bloomberg
US President Barack Obama (R) shakes hands with Jordan's King Abdullah II prior to a meeting on the first day of the NATO 2014 summit at the Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport, South Wales, on September 4, 2014. The NATO summit billed as the most important since the Cold War got underway with calls to stand up to Russia over Ukraine and confront Islamic State extremists. AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
British Prime Minister David Cameron (R), US President Barack Obama (2nd R) and Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko (3rd R) bow their heads during a moment of silence for killed service members in Afghanistan at the start of a meeting on Afghanistan during the NATO 2014 summit at the Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport, South Wales, on September 4, 2014. The NATO summit billed as the most important since the Cold War got underway with calls to stand up to Russia over Ukraine and confront Islamic State extremists. AFP PHOTO/SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
US President Barack Obama (L) meets with NATO Secretary General Anders Fogh Rasmussen (C) as Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron looks on at the NATO 2014 summit at the Celtic Manor Hotel in Newport, South Wales, on September 4, 2014. A NATO summit billed as the most important since the Cold War got underway with calls to stand up to Russia over Ukraine and confront Islamic State extremists. AFP PHOTO/POOL/PETER MACDIARMID (Photo credit should read PETER MACDIARMID/AFP/Getty Images)
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By DARLENE SUPERVILLE

WASHINGTON (AP) - President Barack Obama will begin laying out a strategy this week to defeat Islamic State militants in the Middle East, meeting with congressional leaders Tuesday and giving a speech Wednesday, the eve of the 13th anniversary of the deadliest terrorist attack on U.S. soil.

Obama disclosed his plans during an interview broadcast Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press."

"I just want the American people to understand the nature of the threat and how we're going to deal with it and to have confidence that we'll be able to deal with it," he said in the interview conducted Saturday at the White House shortly after his return from a NATO summit in Wales where the Islamic State threat was a key topic of discussion.

Obama restated his opposition to sending U.S. ground troops to engage in direct combat with the militants, who have laid claim to large swaths of territory in Iraq, targeted religious and ethnic minority groups, and threatened U.S. personnel and interests in the region.

At Obama's direction, the U.S. military has conducted more than 130 airstrikes against Islamic State militants in Iraq in the past month. In retaliation, the group recently beheaded two American journalists it had been holding hostage in Syria, where the organization also operates.

Lawmakers have pressed Obama to expand the airstrikes into Syria. He has resisted so far, but said he has asked his military advisers for options for pursuing the group there.

In the interview, Obama said the U.S. would not go after the Islamic State group alone, but would operate as part of an international coalition and continue airstrikes to support ground efforts that would be carried out by Iraqi and Kurdish troops.

At the NATO summit, the U.S. and nine allies agreed to take on the militants because of the threat they pose to member countries.

"Clearly, he's put together a coalition of the willing - we have heard that before - to tackle this problem. That's good," said Rep. Mike Rogers, chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

At the same time, the president "needs to engage Congress, the American people, on what exactly we're going to do here," said Rogers, R-Mich.

Make the case why the extremists are a threat of the U.S. and lay out the strategy, Rogers said. But, he said, "We need to have an endgame."

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., wants to hear what the diplomatic and military parts of Obama's plan are.

"Time's a wasting, because we have now said that we're going to go on the offensive. And it's time for America to project power and strength," said Feinstein, who heads the Senate Intelligence Committee and joined Rogers on CNN's "State of the Union."

Obama's emerging strategy depends on the formation of a new government in Iraq, as well as cooperation and contributions from regional partners, including Saudi Arabia, Jordan and Turkey. Obama said he expected the Iraqi government to be formed this week.

"What I want people to understand ... is that over the course of months, we are going to be able to not just blunt the momentum of ISIL," he said, using an alternate name for the group. "We are going to systematically degrade their capabilities. We're going to shrink the territory that they control. And ultimately we're going to defeat them."

The head of the Arab League, Nabil Elaraby, appealed to its member states to confront "militarily and politically" Islamic State insurgents. Support from the Arab League could provide Obama with the international coalition he hoped to create.

It wasn't immediately clear what steps the Arab League might take.

Elaraby said Sunday on Cairo that what is needed from Arab countries is a "clear and firm decision for a comprehensive confrontation" to what he called "cancerous and terrorist" groups.

Obama said his administration has seen no intelligence that suggests an immediate threat to the U.S. from the Islamic State group. But he said the militants can become a serious threat to the homeland if they are allowed to control even more territory and amass more financial and other resources, including foreign fighters.

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