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Obama on ISIS: more than 8,000 airstrikes in Syria, Iraq




US President Barack Obama speaks following a meeting with top military officials about the military campaign against the Islamic State at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, July 6, 2015. Obama said Monday the US-led coalition battling Islamic State jihadists was
US President Barack Obama speaks following a meeting with top military officials about the military campaign against the Islamic State at the Pentagon in Washington, DC, July 6, 2015. Obama said Monday the US-led coalition battling Islamic State jihadists was "intensifying" its campaign against the group's base in Syria, especially against its top leaders. "We're going after the ISIL leadership and infrastructure in Syria, the heart of ISIL that pumps funds and propaganda to people around the world," Obama said after a briefing on the campaign with top military leaders at the Pentagon. AFP PHOTO / SAUL LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images)
SAUL LOEB/AFP/Getty Images

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After meeting with French President Francois Hollande at the White House on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said that despite the U.S. leading more than 8,000 airstrikes in Iraq and Syria, a coalition with France and other nations must still do more to combat ISIS forces in the region.

"What you heard today, frankly, from [President Obama] was the rationalization of a strategy already in play, rather than a broadening of that strategy," said Aaron David Miller, vice president for new initiatives and distinguished scholar at the Woodrow Wilson Center's Middle East program.

Meanwhile, Hollande outlined details of increased airstrikes in Raqqa, an ISIS stronghold, supplying and supporting Iraqi forces near Ramadi and closing the Syrian border with Turkey to stem the flow of potential militants into Europe.

"I found it really intriguing that [President] Hollande was the one who put the specifics on the program," said Miller, noting that an upcoming meeting between Hollande and Russian President Vladimir Putin will be key to a potential coalition.

Ahead of the meeting, the White House said the meeting would be to coordinate efforts "to assist France’s investigation into these attacks, discuss further cooperation as part of the 65-member counter-ISIL coalition" and to confront terrorism.

Obama is scheduled to travel to Paris to attend a climate change conference next week.