Paris Attacks a 'Terrible, Sickening Setback' in ISIS Fight, Obama Says

Obama answered questions on the Paris attacks at the G-20 Summit in Turkey.

ByABC News
November 16, 2015, 10:34 AM

— -- President Obama has announced a new agreement to streamline intelligence sharing with France in the wake of the terror attacks in Paris, and appealed for more nations to "step up" to assist in the fight against ISIS.

"The terrible events in Paris were obviously a terrible and sickening setback," Obama said today in Turkey. "It reminds us that it will not be enough to take on ISIL in Iraq and Syria alone."

Obama found himself defending the United States’ overall strategy against ISIS as he fielded questions from reporters today at the G-20 Summit in Antalya, Turkey.

Obama said there won’t be any major changes to the approach taken against ISIS by the U.S.-led coalition, but that “there will be an intensification” of the existing strategy to degrade and destroy the group.

He also dismissed those who he said would choose to send U.S. troops to retake territory in Iraq or Syria in the wake of the recent terror attacks by ISIS, saying such action would amount to a repetition of the past conflicts America entered into in the Middle East.

“A strategy has to be one that can be sustained,” Obama said. “My only interest is to end suffering and to keep the American people safe. And if there’s a good idea out there, then we’re going to do it.”

Addressing Friday’s attacks, Obama told ABC News’ Jim Avila that he was informed of no warnings he could have passed along to French officials that might have prevented the attacks.

“The concerns about potential ISIS attacks in the West have been there for over a year now,” Obama said. “There were no specific mentions of this particular attack that would give us a sense of something that we could provide French authorities, for example, or act on ourselves.”

Earlier in the day, Obama attended a meeting with the heads of state of the U.K., Germany, Italy and France, otherwise known as "the Quint."

French Foreign Minister Laurent Fabius attended the G-20 in place of French President Francois Hollande, who canceled his trip in the wake of the attacks in Paris Friday.

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