In a meeting with Congress leaders, US President Barack Obama says he has the authority to broaden the military campaign against ISIL terrorists in Iraq and Syria.
“The president told the leaders that he has the authority he needs to take action against ISIL in accordance with the mission he will lay out in his address tomorrow (Wednesday) night,” the White House said in a statement on Tuesday.
Obama will use a prime-time television address on Wednesday to outline a strategy against the group whose savage methods, including the execution and beheading of prisoners, has shocked people around the world.
President Obama met Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi, the top Democrats in the US Senate and House of Representatives, and Republican counterparts Mitch McConnell and John Boehner, to discuss the next phase of his military campaign.
In recent weeks, the United States has launched airstrikes targeting ISIL militants in Iraq without authorization from Congress.
In an interview with NBC on Sunday, Obama said that the United States would hit the terrorist leaders wherever it could.
US warplanes and drones carried out multiple strikes on Monday and Tuesday on the militants near the Haditha Dam on the Euphrates River to protect it from ISIL, the United States Central Command (USCENTCOM) said on Tuesday.
Obama has been harshly criticized by Republicans and even some Democrats for not having a strategy for tackling the threat.
US lawmakers fear that Western citizens, who have joined the terrorist group, may travel to the US to commit terrorism.
ISIL controls some parts of Syria’s territory. The group sent its fighters into neighboring Iraq in June, quickly seizing large swaths of land straddling the border between the two countries.
The US and its Western and regional allies have been funding some of the insurgent groups fighting to topple the Syrian government.