NEWPORT, Wales - US President Barack Obama said on Friday the United States would hunt down Islamic State militants in Iraq and "take out" their leaders with the goal of dismantling the organization as it had done with al-Qaida and was doing in Somalia.

In some of his toughest comments since Washington began air strikes last month to halt an Islamists' advance in northern Iraq, Obama set out a long-term plan to degrade and ultimately destroy the movement that has captured swathes of Iraq and Syria.

"We are going to achieve our goal. We are going to degrade and ultimately defeat ISIL, the same way that we have gone after al-Qaida," Obama told a news conference after a NATO summit in Wales.

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