US President Barack Obama says destroying the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group is his “top priority”, expressing absolute confidence in victory.
Addressing a White House meeting with the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and the combatant commanders on Tuesday, Obama said Daesh continues to lose ground in its strongholds in Iraq and Syria, and is being squeezed financially, stressing that the US will “defeat” the terrorist group.
“Destroying ISIL continues to be my top priority and so we can no longer tolerate the kinds of positioning that is enabled by them having headquarters in Raqqa and in Mosul.”
He stressed the need for the Pentagon to act in a more organized manner in the face of threats from the Takfiri group, saying, “We’ve got to keep on putting the pressure on them, and obviously that is not just a military operation, that is an intelligence and diplomatic effort as well… This will continue to be a difficult fight but I’m absolutely confident that ISIL will lose, we will prevail.”
This is while Republican hawkish Senator John McCain said in a letter to Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said the US risks going down the same failed policy of “gradual escalation” in its fight against Daesh that led the county to defeat in the Vietnam War.
“As a young military officer, I bore witness to the failed policy of gradual escalation that ultimately led to our nation’s defeat in the Vietnam War,” McCain said. “Now… I fear this administration’s grudging incrementalism in the war against ISIL risks another slow, grinding failure for our nation.”
Daesh terrorists, who were initially trained by the CIA in Jordan in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government, now control large parts of Iraq and Syria, where they are engaged in crimes against humanity in the areas under their control.
US warplanes have been conducting airstrikes allegedly against ISIL in Iraq since August of 2014. Some Western states have also participated in some of the strikes in Iraq.
Since September 2014, the US and some of its Arab allies have been carrying out airstrikes against Daesh inside Syria without any authorization from Damascus or a UN mandate but some analysts have criticized the US-led military campaign, saying the strikes are only meant to benefit US weapons manufacturers.
Obama further pointed out to reviewing US defense strategies and the spending budget, noting, “We’re investing in capabilities that of our military to deter aggression and defend our security and that of our allies, and this includes increases in our posture in Europe, to reassure NATO allies, in light of particularly increased aggressive actions by Russia.”
The US has been stepping up pressure on Russia backdoor in the wake of a crisis in eastern Ukraine.