A defiant President Obama addressed reporters Monday at the G-20 Summit in Turkey. While the previously scheduled talks were to focus on jump starting the world’s economy, the conversation quickly turned to the recent terrorist attack in Paris.
President Obama called ISIS “the face of evil” and reiterated America’s goal is to “destroy this barbaric organization.”
To this end, the president pledged even greater cooperation between French and American intelligence officials.
While President Obama had harsh words for ISIS, he cautioned against stereotyping all Muslims because of this latest attack. He also warned against blaming Syrian refugees for terrorism and “slamming the door” in their faces.
“The people who are fleeing Syria are the most harmed by terrorism…they are parents, they are children, they are orphans.” the president said. “It is very important that we do not close our hearts to these victims of such violence and somehow start equating the issue of refugees with the issue of terrorism.”
During the press conference, Mr. Obama also had some tough words for his critics who blasted the president for not being “tough enough” on ISIS.
"If folks wanna pop off & have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan" – Pres Obama pic.twitter.com/nSE6TF33k4
— britni danielle (@BritniDWrites) November 16, 2015
“If folks wanna pop off and have opinions about what they think they would do, present a specific plan,” he said, noting America should not “shoot first and aim later” when it comes to fighting the terrorist organization.
Though the situation is extremely challenging, the president said his mission is clear: “My only interest is to end suffering and keep the American people safe.”