Obama says Guantanamo prisoner population will be less than 100 by early 2016
President Barack Obama holds his end of the year news conference at the White House in Washington on Dec. 18, 2015. (Carlos Barria for Reuters)

U.S. President Barack Obama on Friday said the United States is working systematically to reduce the population at the Guantanamo Bay prison and that the administration will attempt to work with Congress to close the facility.


"We will continue to steadily chip away at the population," Obama said at a White House year-end press conference, noting that by early 2016 the administration expects the prison population will be below 100.

Obama said he would attempt to get Congress to back a plan to close the facility before he considers whether to use his executive authority to address the issue.

(Reporting by Roberta Rampton; Editing by Eric Walsh)