The spate of "indiscriminate" terror attacks in the Middle East is a sign that the United States' fight to bring the Islamic State under control is producing a measure of success, Deputy Secretary of State Tony Blinken said Tuesday.
"What we're seeing is ISIS actually lashing out, because every way we measure this - the territory they control, the number of foreign fighters and fighters overall, money, propaganda - they are down on every single measure," Blinken told MSNBC's
"Morning Joe" program. "Unfortunately one of the things they do in response is to lash out with these indiscriminate terrorist attacks, suicide bombers, car bombs, you name it, going back to the more traditional model of terrorism. It's horrific."
And with the attacks occurring at the end of the Muslim holy season of Ramadan, the already growing backlash against ISIS is having a "real impact" as more Muslims are being killed.
"We're already seeing it online," said Blinken. "We're seeing from a year ago to today, a year ago the online traffic is running 80 percent, 90 percent in favor of ISIL in messaging. Now for every single positive message about ISIL, there are six or seven negative ones."
Also, State Department polling has determined that a year ago, 60 percent of young people in the Middle East strongly opposed ISIS, but now the number is 80 percent, said Blinken.
"I think people begin to understand and are seeing these people are not martyrs, they are murderers," said Blinken. "That is becoming increasingly clear and having an impact on their ability to draw recruits to bring people into the fight for them."
Meanwhile, he denied assertions that the Obama administration lacks a clear strategy when it comes to fighting ISIS, telling the panel that 'we're trying to take away the core in Iraq and Syria."
He also hit back on a question from former President George W. Bush's communications director Nicolle Wallace, a regular on the show, who wanted to know if "you all sit around in private and take any responsibility for the morass that is this country's Middle East policy, or is it all externally forced?"
"We take responsibility every single day," said Blinken. "You heard the president talk to this. I think there's frustration across the board at this horrific civil war in Syria that's taking so many lives."
Further, he refuted a question from her that asked if the civil war was "created" by the United States and Obama's actions on the "red line" drawn with Syrian President Bashar al-Assad.
"It was about Assad's use of chemical weapons," said Blinken. "The president said we're prepared to take military action. We were able, without firing a single shot, to be far more effective with this deal that took away a vast number of weapons."
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