"ISIL [Islamic State] has expanded its reach to other parts of the globe, including Egypt, Afghanistan-Pakistan, Yemen, Libya, West Africa, and parts of the Pacific," Austin stated.
Austion noted that the Daesh’s insidious activities perpetuate sectarian conflict and could spark a broader regional sectarian war.
"For these and a host of other reasons, ISIL poses the most immediate security threat to our interests and the interests of our partners and allies," Austin added.
The Islamic State, also known as Daesh, is a militant group that has taken over large areas in Syria and Iraq. Daesh is outlawed in many countries including the United States and Russia.