Ben Rhodes, Deputy National Security Advisor for Barack Obama, doubled down on comments Obama made earlier in the week claiming ISIS was “contained” in Iraq and Syria by suggesting on Sunday “we were able to halt” their expansion. (RELATED: Obama: ISIS Not Gaining Strength [VIDEO])
Appearing on NBC’s “Meet The Press” Sunday, host Chuck Todd asked Rhodes how ISIS could still be “contained” if there were three terrorist attacks potentially committed by ISIS in the last ten days in locations other than Iraq and Syria.
In response to Todd referencing the bombing of the Russian airliner bombing, the Beirut bombing, and Friday’s attacks in Paris, Rhodes explained, “the President was referring very specifically to the question of ISIL’s geographic expansion in Iraq and Syria.”
“They had been on the march in both Iraq and Syria for some time but starting a year ago, we were able to halt that expansion,” claimed Rhodes. “And we’ve actually been able to push back and reclaimed territory from ISIL in both Iraq and Syria. Including most recently, in an operation with our Kurdish allies on the ground in Iraq where they were able to take the strategic town of Sinjar, cutting off one of the key supply lines between the capital for ISIL, Raqqah in Syria and Mosul which was has been a principle base of operations for ISIL in Iraq.”
“So we have been able to apply pressure, take back territory, but at the same time of course we are seeing ISIL aim to project power beyond the boarders of Iraq and Syria, most tragically in the attacks in Paris,” explained Rhodes. (RELATED: Hillary Clinton: ISIS ‘Cannot Be Contained’ [VIDEO])