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U.S. diplomat calls Islamic State ‘monstrous group’

WASHINGTON — The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations says America doesn’t have to be perpetually at war, but it must take on the surging Islamic State group.

Samantha Power says the U.S. needs the support of other nations as it advances “a campaign to degrade and destroy” the terrorist network.

Appearing Thursday on NBC’s “Today” show, she calls Islamic State a “monstrous group.”

Power says the Obama administration is heartened by pledges of cooperation in this effort, but says a much greater commitment is needed. She says nations must not only defeat terrorists when encountering them head-on, but also needs to keep people from becoming recruited and choke off funding sources.

During the interview, Power also said:

  • U.S. coordination with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad over the airstrikes: Syria, she said, is not a reliable partner. “You’re committing terror against your people, you’re the ones using chemical weapons and barrel bombs, etc. so we didn’t ask for permission — we just offered a notification.”
  • The suffering of Syrian civilians: “The vast majority of Syrian people have wanted this war to end for a very long end. They can’t tolerate the leadership of somebody who would use chemical weapons against children, barrel bombs, etc.”

Power says the horrors presented by the Islamic State militants should unite other countries, particularly in the Mideast and Europe.

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