President Barack Obama said the United States and its allies will review international efforts to combat the Islamic State (IS) extremist group during a nuclear summit with world leaders in Washington next week.
In his weekly radio and Internet address on March 26, Obama renewed his vow to continue the campaign against IS, which claimed responsibility for deadly suicide bombings in Brussels.
Obama offered his condolences for the families of the two Americans and others killed or hurt in the March 22 bombings.He also told Belgians that "America has their back" in the fight against terrorism.
The president said U.S. officials have ramped up intelligence cooperation and that FBI agents are in Belgium assisting with the investigation into the bombings that killed 31 and wounded 270 others.
He said the U.S.-led air campaign -- and support for forces in Iraq and Syria who are fighting IS on the ground -- has been successful, taking "approximately forty percent of the populated territory that [Islamic State] once held in Iraq."
He also urged Americans not to stigmatize Muslims, saying that doing so is "counterproductive" in the fight against radical Islam.
"It plays right into the hands of terrorists who want to turn us against one another -- who need a reason to recruit more people to their hateful cause."
Based on reporting by AP, AFP, and Reuters