Obama calls for dismantling IS 'network of death'

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UNITED NATIONS (AP) — As U.S. planes carry out airstrikes over Iraq and Syria, President Barack Obama is urging Muslims in the Middle East to reject the ideology behind groups like the Islamic State. And he's calling on them to cut off funding that allows such groups to thrive.

Speaking to the U.N. General Assembly today, Obama said the U.S. would be a "respectful and constructive partner" in confronting the militants through force. He said the U.S. would be leading a coalition to dismantle what he calls a "network of death."

In his speech, Obama sought to distinguish this military campaign from the lengthy wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying he has no intention of sending U.S. troops to occupy foreign lands.

Obama also criticized Russia in his speech, accusing it of arming separatists in Ukraine, refusing to allow access to the site of a downed civilian airliner and then moving its own troops across the border into Ukraine.

While Obama cast the U.S. as the main driver of peace and security in the world, he acknowledged that his country hasn't always lived up to its own ideals. He singled out the recent protests in Missouri that followed the shooting death of a black teenager by a police officer. But despite racial and ethnic tensions, Obama said America "has steadily worked to address our problems."

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146-a-10-(President Barack Obama, in speech to the U.N. General Assembly)-"network of death"-President Obama says the U.S. will lead a coalition to destroy the Islamic State group. (24 Sep 2014)

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147-a-11-(President Barack Obama, in speech to the U.N. General Assembly)-"are increasingly alone"-President Obama says the world will turn against the Islamic militants. (24 Sep 2014)

<<CUT *147 (09/24/14)££ 00:11 "are increasingly alone"

APPHOTO UNJD123: U.S. President Barack Obama gives a toast at a luncheon for heads of delegations during the 69th session of the United Nations General Assembly at U.N. headquarters, Wednesday, Sept. 24, 2014. (AP Photo/Jason DeCrow) (24 Sep 2014)

<<APPHOTO UNJD123 (09/24/14)££

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