US President Barack Obama has paid a rare visit to CIA headquarters in the state of Virginia to discuss the country’s alleged war on Daesh terror group.
With the US–led coalition standing accused of having done little to tackle Daesh militancy in Iraq and Syria after around 20 months, Obama sounded optimistic about his intent to “take out” more of the terrorists in his Wednesday meeting with the Central Intelligence Agency’s chiefs and other security officials.
“ISIL is on the defensive, and we are on the offensive,” Obama said. “We have momentum, and we intend to keep that momentum.”
The US president also bragged about how effective the coalition has been in its fight with the Takfiris, who were originally trained by the CIA in Jordan back in 2012 to destabilize the Syrian government.
“In the days and weeks ahead we intend to take out more (leaders.) Every day, ISIL leaders wake up and understand it could be their last,” Obama said.
Takfiri ’cause is lost’
The US president estimated that the terror group is in its most vulnerable status since 2014.
“Their ranks of fighters are estimated to be at the lowest levels in two years and more and more are realizing that their cause is lost,” he said, adding, “So we continue to work for a diplomatic end to this awful conflict.”
Earlier in the day, Colonel Steve Warren who serves as the spokesman for the so-called Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) said the second “phase” of operations had kicked off.
“We are now in phase two, which is to dismantle this enemy,” Warren said. “While ISIL can still put together some complex attacks, they have not been able to take hold of any key terrain for almost a year now.”
Apart from the US airstrikes apparently targeting Daesh, the Takfiris face attacks by the Syrian and Iraqi army, whose forces are busy liberating areas under the militants’ control.
A number of US regional allies, including Saudi Arabia and Turkey, have been implicated in providing support for the terrorists, on which Washington has turned a blind eye.