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Obama Touts Congressional Support for Syria Strikes (Video)

Obama said Tuesday he has congressional backing for the airstrikes in Syria. (Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images/File Photo)

Congress ducked a Syria war authorization vote, but that isn't stopping President Barack Obama from touting support for his airstrikes against the Islamic State and other terror groups in Syria.  

"I've spoken to leaders in Congress, and I'm pleased that there's bipartisan support for the actions that we're taking," Obama said Tuesday. "America's always stronger when we stand united, and that unity sends a powerful message to the world that we will do what's necessary to defend our country," he said before heading to New York for meetings at the United Nations.  

Obama touted the Arab coalition that joined in the strikes — Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Jordan, Bahrain and Qatar.  "The strength of this coalition makes it clear to the world that this is not America's fight alone," he said. "Above all, the people and governments of the Middle East are rejecting ISIL and standing up for the peace and security that the people of the region and the world deserve."  

Obama also pointed to the vote Congress did take to support Syrian opposition forces who oppose the Islamic State, also known as ISIL or ISIS.  

"We will move forward with our plans supported by bipartisan majorities in Congress to ramp up our effort to train and equip the Syrian opposition who are the best counterweight to ISIL" and the Assad regime, Obama said.  

Obama also cited the U.S. strikes against the Khorasan Group.  

"It must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people," he said.  

   

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