From VOA Learning English, this is In The News.
The United States says the Islamic State militant group has at least two times as many fighters as an earlier estimate. The U.S. Central Intelligence Agency says the group now has between 20,000 and 31,500 fighters in Iraq and Syria. The old estimate was 10,000. A CIA official reported this week that the new number is based on more people joining the militants since June. He noted the success of militant forces in battle and their declaration of an Islamic state.
The new intelligence estimate came a day after President Barack Obama announced his plan for defeating the group. Mr. Obama said he is expanding the U.S operations against the militants to include air strikes in Syria. He said his administration will build an international coalition to defeat Islamic State forces. He also said that no U.S. troops will return to battle in Iraq.
The president made the announcement Wednesday night in a speech to the American people. Some observers say his plan represents the beginning of a long campaign involving U.S. forces. Mr. Obama recently came under criticism for saying he did not have a strategy for the militants.
For weeks, the U.S. aircraft have been attacking Iraqi territory controlled by Islamic State forces, also known as ISIL.
President Obama announced on Wednesday that the air strikes will be expanded to militant positions in Syria.
"We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are. That means I will not hesitate to take action against ISIL in Syria, as well as Iraq. This is a core principle of my presidency. If you threaten America, you will find no safe haven."
The president did not say when the air strikes will end. Some U.S. officials say they could last for years.
Mr. Obama also announced plans to send 475 armed forces members to Iraq. They will join the more than 1,000 already serving as advisors in the country.
The president said the U.S. aim is to break down and later destroy the militant group. Islamic State fighters recently executed two American journalists. Americans have been shocked by images of the killings.
Opinion surveys this week showed a majority of Americans support action against the militants. After the speech, the two main parties expressed support for military strikes against Islamic State forces. Mitch McConnell is the top Republican in the U.S. Senate.
"I'm glad the president has brought a new focus to the effort against ISIL. He needs to take this responsibility head-on.
This congress, the next congress, and the next administration have serious work ahead as we consider this multi-year commitment and what it will take to defeat ISIL."
Yet Republicans and Democrats disagree about what will be required to defeat the militants. House Speaker John Boehner says air strikes involving U.S. fighter aircraft will not be enough.
"An F-16 is not a strategy, and air strikes alone will not accomplish what we are trying to accomplish. And the president's made clear he doesn't want U.S. boots on the ground. Well, somebody's boots have to be on the ground."
Senator Barbara Boxer of California belongs to the Democratic Party. She supports Mr. Obama's call for an international coalition to defeat the Islamic State.
"Beware of the people here who were the cheerleaders of the Iraq War, who want to get this president to now say is gonna put combat boots on the ground. That is the wrong recipe. We learned it -- 4,000 dead Americans."
President Obama is seeking congressional approval to train and supply Syrian opposition fighters. He wants them to battle Islamic State forces operating in Syria. That training would take place in Saudi Arabia, which U.S. officials say has promised to assist the efforts.
And that's In The News from VOA Learning English.
I'm Christopher Cruise.
1.note vt. 指出
The report notes that export and import volumes picked up in leading economies...
2.defeat vt. 击败，战胜
His guerrillas defeated the colonial army in 1954...
1954 年他领导的游击队打败了殖民军队 。
3.observer n. 观察员
You can't speak at this meeting, you are here as an oBserver.
4.expand v. 使扩张；扩大；发展
I owned a bookshop and desired to expand the business.
5.core n. 核心；精髓
The core of traditional filial piety culture is love, while the core of love is contribution.
6.execute vt. 执行；处死
That plan was promptly executed.
7.disagree v. 不同意，不一致
I disagree with Andrew Russell over his piece on British Rail.
8.accomplish vt. 完成；达到（目的）
Though the task was difficult, they managed to accomplish it in time.
1.The United States says the Islamic State militant group has at least two times as many fighters as an earlier estimate.
two times as many倍数的表达
a. 主语+谓语+倍数(或分数)+ as + adj. + as
I have three times as many as you. 我有你三倍那么多 。
b. 主语+谓语+倍数(分数)+ the size (amount，length…) of…
The earth is 49 times the size of the moon. 地球是月球的49倍 。
c. 主语+谓语+倍数(分数)+ 形容词(副词)比较级+ than…
The grain output is 8 percent higher this year than that of last year.
The production of grain has been increased by four times this year.
2.We will hunt down terrorists who threaten our country, wherever they are.
The hounds will soon hunt down the stag.
3.The president said the U.S. aim is to break down and later destroy the militant group.
An unruly mob broke down police barricades and stormed the courtroom...
美国表示，伊斯兰国激进组织战士数量至少是此前估计的两倍。美国中央情报局表示，该组织目前在伊拉克和叙利亚拥有20,000至31,500名战士 。此前的估计是10,000人 。CIA一名官员本周报告称，最新数据基于自6月份以来，更多人加入该激进组织 。他指出，激进分子力量目前不断取得胜利，并宣布成立伊斯兰国 。
新的情报估计来自奥巴马总统宣布打击该组织的计划一天之后。奥巴马总统表示，他把美国打击激进分子的行动拓展至叙利亚境内，包括空袭行动 。他表示，政府将会组建国际联盟，打击伊斯兰国力量 。他还表示，美国军队不会返回伊拉克作战 。
周三晚上，奥巴马总统向全国人民发表讲话时宣布了该计划。一些观察员表示，他的计划代表了美国军队参加的长期行动的开始 。由于宣称没有应对激进分子的战略，奥巴马最近受到批评 。
“我们将追捕威胁国家的恐怖分子，无论他们在何处。这意味着我会毫不犹豫地对叙利亚和伊拉克ISIL采取行动，这是我总统任期内的核心原则 。如果你对美国造成威胁，你将没有安全的天堂 。”
奥巴马总统表示，美国的目标是分裂并最终摧毁该激进组织。伊斯兰国战士最近处决了两名美国记者 。美国人对杀戮的图像感到震惊 。
本周的民意调查显示大多数美国人支持打击激进分子的行动。讲话后，两大主要政党表达了对打击伊斯兰国力量的军事行动的支持 。米切·麦康纳(Mitch McConnell)是美国参议院一名高级共和党人 。
“我很高兴总统重新关注打击ISIL的努力。他需要承担起这份责任 。本届国会，下届国会以及下届政府都面临艰巨的任务，我们必须考虑这项多年的任务以及应该采取何种措施来击败ISIL 。”
然而，共和党人和民主党人对击败激进分子需要采取的行动意见不一。众议院议长贝纳(John Boehner)表示，美国战斗机参与的空袭还不够 。
“F16战斗机并不是战略，仅仅实施空袭并不能取得我们希望取得的成果。总统已经明确表示他不希望美国涉足现场 。然而，必须有人前往现场 。”
加利福尼亚州参议员芭芭拉·博克瑟(Barbara Boxer)属于民主党。她支持奥巴马呼吁的组建国际联盟击败伊斯兰国的要求 。
“要意识到这里有很多人是伊拉克战争的倡导者，他们希望奥巴马总统向当地派遣部队。这是错误的决定 。我们已经吸取了教训——4,000多名美国人因此牺牲 。”
奥巴马总统正在寻求国会同意，为叙利亚反对派战士提供训练和补给。他希望反对派能够打击叙利亚的伊斯兰国力量 。训练将在沙特阿拉伯举行 。美国官员表示，这些战士承诺辅助打击伊斯兰国的行动 。