Politics

Obama: ISIS Not Gaining Strength [VIDEO]

Steve Guest Media Reporter

President Barack Obama told ABC that ISIS is not gaining strength and that “we have contained them.”

In an interview aired Friday on “Good Morning America,” George Stephanopolous told Obama that “even your friendly critics … say what you have on the ground is not going to enough. Every couple months you will be faced with the same choice, back down or double down.” (VIDEO: White House Press Sec Squirms Defending Obama’s Flip Flop On Sending Troops To Syria)

Obama explained his anti-ISIS strategy has “always been a multi-year project, precisely because the government structures in the Sunni areas of Iraq are weak and there are none in Syria, and we don’t have ground forces there in sufficient numbers to simply march into al Raqqah and Syria and clean the whole place out. And as a consequence, we’ve always understood that our goal has to be militarily constraining ISIL’s capabilities, cutting off their supply lines, cutting off their financing.”

Stephanopolous shot back, “But ISIS is gaining strength, aren’t they?”

Obama responded, “I don’t think they’re gaining strength. What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq, and in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave. But you don’t see this systemic march by ISIL across the terrain. What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We’ve made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters, and part of our goal has to be to recruit more effective Sunni partners in Iraq to really go on offense rather than simply engage in defense.”

At the end of October, Obama announced that he would send 50 special operations forces to go fight in Syria. (RELATED: Obama: There Will Be No Combat In Iraq. Generals: We’re In Combat)

The presidents comments can be contrasted with reports that ISIS or an ISIS affiliate possibly downed Metrojet Flight 9268, a Russian passenger jet in the Sinai Peninsula on Oct. 31.

This past Tuesday, Dem. Sen. [crscore]Tim Kaine[/crscore] said, “We’ve seen ISIL go from Iraq and Syria to now a presence in Afghanistan, Yemen, Somalia. We just recently dispatched troops to Cameroon to counter Boko Haram, which has sworn allegiance to ISIL Yemen. So this is a threat that’s mutating,” explained Kaine. (RELATED: Dem. Senator Blasts Obama’s Syria Strategy [VIDEO])

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