The United States provided humanitarian aid to thousands of civilians fleeing from the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, a terrorist group known as ISIL, in early August in northern Iraq. On Aug. 8, one day after President Barack Obama authorized airstrikes to protect Americans in the northern Iraqi city of Irbil, two F/A-18 aircraft conducted the first attack against ISIL. The effort to degrade and destroy ISIL continued through August. In early September, Obama, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel and Secretary of State John Kerry attended a NATO summit in Wales, where the three leaders helped form an anti-ISIL coalition. As ISIL's aggression continued, U.S. and coalition partner nations began airstrikes in Syria in late September. As the year draws to a close, the multinational effort to eliminate the terror group is ongoing.
"What's needed now is a targeted, relentless counterterrorism campaign against ISIL that combines American air power, contributions from allies and partners, and more support to forces that are fighting these terrorists on the ground. And that's exactly what we're doing."
President Barack Obama