WASHINGTON, Sept. 10 (UPI) -- President Barack Obama's televised speech Wednesday evening will concentrate on coalition-building to defeat the militants of the Islamic State, a senior administration official said.
"Tonight you will hear from the president how the United States will pursue a comprehensive strategy to degrade and ultimately destroy ISIL (as with ISIS, another name for the Islamic State), including U.S. military action and support for the forces combating ISIL on the ground, both the opposition in Syria and a new, inclusive Iraqi government. The president will discuss how we are building a coalition of allies and partners in the region and in the broader international community to support our efforts, and will talk about how we work with the Congress as a partner in these efforts," the official said in a statement Wednesday.
Obama is also seeking support from the U.S. Congress for an expected escalation of U.S. involvement in the region, with briefings Wednesday for members of Congress.
Secretary of State John Kerry, whose current visit to the Middle East includes a conference in Saudi Arabia of Persian Gulf powers concerned with IS and its containment, will also meet with new Iraqi President Haider al-Abadi. Kerry is expected to convince Abadi, a Shia Muslim, to cede more power to representatives of Iraq's Sunni majority so Iraq can better deal with the largely Sunni IS.
IS forces currently control territory across Syria and Iraq.
Obama's strategy for containing IS involves airstrikes in Syria and Iraq, as well as commitments of involvement from allies. The United States and nine other countries, including Britain and Canada, agreed last week to a common offensive strategy against IS.