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Obama: Goal Is to Shrink Islamic State Operations

Image: Obama: Goal Is to Shrink Islamic State Operations

Friday, 13 Nov 2015 08:22 AM

U.S. President Barack Obama said he was focusing on shrinking and constraining Islamic State in Syria and Iraq but acknowledged that problems with the militant group would continue until the Middle East stabilizes.

"Our goal has to be militarily constraining ISIL's capabilities, cutting off their supply lines, cutting off their financing," Obama, using an acronym for the group, told ABC News in portions of an interview that aired on Friday.

Obama's comments were taped on Thursday, just as the United States helped back up a Kurdish offensive against the militants in northern Iraq while also targeting a British Islamic State leader known as "Jihadi John."

The full interview is scheduled to air on Sunday.

Obama said the group was not getting stronger and had not gained ground in Iraq, although its militants still pose a threat.

"What we have not yet been able to do is completely decapitate their command and control structures," he said in part of the interview that aired on ABC's "Good Morning America" program. He added that the U.S. needed more effective Sunni partners to help stage an offensive in Iraq.

Obama has faced criticism from Republicans over the United States' foreign policy, including in civil war-torn Syria.

"Until we get the Syria political situation resolved," Obama said, "and until (Syrian President Bashar al-) Assad is no longer a lightning rod for Sunnis in Syria, and that entire region is no longer a proxy war for Shia-Sunni conflict, we're going to continue to have problems.

"I would distinguish between making sure that the place is perfect - that's not going to happen any time soon - with making sure that ISIL continues to shrink in its scope of operations until it no longer poses the threat that it does."

© 2017 Thomson/Reuters. All rights reserved.

 
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U.S. President Barack Obama said he was focusing on shrinking and constraining Islamic State in Syria and Iraq but acknowledged that problems with the militant group would continue until the Middle East stabilizes. Our goal has to be militarily constraining ISIL's...
goal, shrink, islamic, state
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2015-22-13
Friday, 13 Nov 2015 08:22 AM
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