Will ISIS Brutality Force US Into More Middle East Fighting? - FOX 13 News

Will ISIS Brutality Force US Into More Middle East Fighting?

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WASHINGTON, D.C. – The Obama administration insists it doesn't want to get drawn into more fighting in the Middle East. But the sheer brutality of ISIS may leave it no choice.

And the military's top leadership says that may mean attacking the terror group in Syria before it spreads any further, FOX News correspondent Molly Henneberg reports.

The U.S. carried out more airstrikes against ISIS targets in Iraq on Thursday.

Secretary Of Defense Chuck Hagel says it's helping Iraqi forces "regain their footing."

Pentagon officials say ISIS, also called ISIL, is "beyond just a terrorist group."

This comes after the militant group released a videotaped execution of captured American journalist James Foley.

Officials now admit the group demanded a $130-million ransom for Foley last year. But, a secret mission to rescue him last month failed.

Meanwhile, the Justice Department has opened an investigation into Foley's killing.

Attorney General Eric Holder says the department will be pursuing "very vigorously" a criminal investigation against the Islamic terrorists responsible for the abduction and beheading.

Holder says there is something that the terrorists need to understand: "This Justice Department, this Department of Defense, this nation, we have long memories and our reach is very wide. We will not forget what happened and people will be held accountable, one way or the other."

It will be a challenge, however, for law enforcement to pursue those Islamic terrorists in Middle Eastern warzones.

At the same time, the Pentagon says ISIS is sophisticated, has money, and has a haven in Syria.

"They are tremendously well-funded," Hagel said. "Oh, this is beyond anything that we've seen. So, we must prepare for everything. And the only way you do that is that you take a cold, steely, hard look at it and … get ready."

General Martin Dempsey, Chairman of the U.S. Joint Chiefs of Staff, said, "Can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border."

But critics say the Obama administration, in particular the president, has not explained a cohesive strategy to go after these terrorists.

During a Thursday taping of "On the Record with Greta Van Susteren," Former U.S. Ambassador to the U.N. John Bolton said, "He hasn't defined our objectives. I think it should be to eliminate ISIL. He hasn't tried to define how he wants to go about that. There is no evidence he's building an international coalition."

Bolton says it is critical to defeat this group as quickly as possible before they consolidate territory and "become a magnet for other terrorists."

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