President Obama Reaffirms Goal to Defeat ISIS in Wake of Istanbul Attack
President Obama indirectly blamed ISIS for Tuesday’s terrorist attack in Istanbul, calling the carnage “an indication of how little these vicious organizations have to offer” to society.
“We stand with the people of Turkey and we intend to do what’s necessary to make sure that these kinds of terrible events are not happening,” Obama told reporters following a meeting with Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto in Ottawa, Canada.
Obama also extended his “deepest condolences” to the people of Turkey for what he called a “terrible attack” in Istanbul. The president said he was in touch with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“I had a chance to speak to President Erdogan earlier today to discuss with him not only how heartbroken we have been by the images of the injured and those killed but also to reaffirm our strong commitment to partner with Turkey, with NATO, with the broad-based alliance that we’ve structured around the world to fight ISIL,” Obama said.
Although ISIS has not claimed responsibility, U.S. lawmakers have indicated the attack mirrors tactics previously executed by the terror group.
“While it is too early to determine who is ultimately responsible, this attack does fit the model previously employed by ISIL,” Sen. Richard Burr, the chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee, stated. “These attacks are tragic reminders that ISIL is not contained and that America and our allies need a comprehensive and decisive strategy to defeat this extremist group.”
The terrorist attack at Ataturk International Airport left 41 people dead and 239 others injured, according to Istanbul Gov. Vasip Sahin.
ABC News’ Ali Rogin contributed to this report.