BALTIMORE - President Barack Obama said on Friday the goal of an international coalition he is helping to form is to "ultimately snuff out" the type of extremism demonstrated by Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
It is a "sobering time," said Obama at a Democratic fund-raising event in Baltimore following his decision to authorize US air strikes against Islamic State targets in Syria for the first time, and to add to targeted areas in Iraq.
The threat from Islamic State has had an important silver lining, he said. It has focused the world's attention on the need to "ultimately snuff out this particular brand of Islamic extremism that really has no place in the 21st century."
The Baltimore fund-raising event was held at the home of Howard Friedman, a former head of the American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC). Residents in the heavily Jewish neighborhood spilled out into their front yards, many waving pro-Israel signs.
"Thank you for standing by Israel," Friedman told Obama in introducing him to the small crowd at the fund-raiser.