ISIS is lost - Obama

2016-04-14 09:40


Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - The Islamic State group in Iraq and Syria is on the defensive and "their cause is lost," US President Barack Obama said on Wednesday after meeting with CIA chiefs and other security officials.

Obama paid a rare visit to CIA headquarters in Virginia to discuss progress of Operation Inherent Resolve, the 20-month-old US-led campaign against ISIS jihadists in Iraq and Syria.

"ISIS is on the defensive, and we are on the offensive," Obama said. "We have momentum, and we intend to keep that momentum."

Obama pointed to recent US air strikes that killed three senior ISIS leaders and a report this week showing the group's ranks are at their lowest level since 2014.

"In the days and weeks ahead we intend to take out more [leaders.] Every day, ISIS leaders wake up and understand it could be their last," Obama said.

"Their ranks of fighters are estimated to be at the lowest levels in two years and more and more are realising that their cause is lost," he added.

Obama stressed the importance of ending the five-year civil war in Syria as key to facilitating a lasting defeat of the ISIS group.

"So we continue to work for a diplomatic end to this awful conflict," he said.

Earlier on Wednesday, Baghdad-based spokesman Colonel Steve Warren said the US-led coalition campaign had successfully entered the second "phase" of operations.

The coalition is working through three main steps as it wages its 20-month-old fight against the ISIS group, Warren said.

"Our enemy has been weakened and we now are working to fracture him. Phase one of the military campaign is complete," Warren told Pentagon reporters, noting that this initial step was to "degrade" the ISIS group by stopping it from making additional territorial gains.

"We are now in phase two, which is to dismantle this enemy," he added.

Warren said the final phase of the campaign is to ensure the ISIS is dealt a lasting defeat, primarily by enabling local forces to prevent a resurgence of jihadist influence.

Though the ISIS group maintains a firm grip on vast areas of the two countries, the jihadists have suffered some serious setbacks including the loss of Ramadi in Iraq.

"While ISIS can still put together some complex attacks, they have not been able to take hold of any key terrain for almost a year now," Warren said.

Read more on:    barack obama  |  us  |  security

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24


Book flights

Compare, Book, Fly

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.