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U.S. at war with ISIS, White House, Pentagon say

The United States is 'at war' with the Islamic State, Pentagon and White House officials say.

By Danielle Haynes
U.S. at war with ISIS, White House, Pentagon say
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest speaks during the daily press briefing at the White House, in Washington, D.C. on September 2, 2014. UPI/Kevin Dietsch | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Sept. 12 (UPI) -- Though U.S. Vice President Joe Biden is quick to say otherwise, White House and Pentagon officials say the United States fight with the Islamic State is essentially war.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday outlined a strategy to combat IS — also known as ISIS and ISIL — in Iraq and Syria. He said that while he ordered 475 troops to Iraq for the mission, U.S. service men and women wouldn't be involved in ground combat.

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White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest on Friday said the offensive amounts to war.

The IS terror group has "indicated that they are ready to go to war against the world and this president, as is expected of American presidents, is stepping up to lead an international coalition to confront that threat," he said.

"Ultimately, this international coalition will be responsible for degrading and destroying ISIL. So I think what you can conclude from this is the United States is at war with ISIL the same way that we are at war with al Qaeda and al Qaeda affiliates all around the globe," he added.

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Pentagon Press Secretary Rear Adm. John Kirby echoed the comment.

The United States is at war with IS "in the same way we're at war and continue to be at war with al-Qaida and its affiliates," he said. "There's not going to be a purely military solution to the threat that ISIL poses in the region, specifically inside Iraq. There's not going to be a military solution here."

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