Obama orders U.S. airstrikes in Syria against Islamic State

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By Steve Holland and Roberta Rampton WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama told Americans on Wednesday he had authorized U.S. Obama's decision to launch attacks inside Syria, which is embroiled in a three-year civil war, marked a turnabout for the president, who shied away a year ago from airstrikes to punish Syrian President Bashar al-Assad for using chemical weapons against his own people. In a widely anticipated, 13-minute White House speech, Obama said he would hunt down Islamic State militants "wherever they are" in a drive to degrade and ultimately destroy the group, which has seized broad stretches of Iraq and Syria.