After a meeting with national security officials at the CIA headquarters, President Obama offered an encouraging picture of the USA’s battle with the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq. He remarked that fewer and fewer are being drawn to fight for the Islamic State and the efforts to stem their cash flow have been successful.
“We have momentum, and we intend to keep that momentum,” Obama said. “The ISIL core in Syria and Iraq continues to shrink.”
“Their ranks of fighters are estimated to be at their lowest levels in about two years, and more and more of them are realizing that their cause is lost,” he added. “Our cyberoperations are disrupting their command and control and communications. We continue to target ISIL’s financial infrastructure.”
This was the first such meeting Obama has held since the suicide bombing in Brussels for which ISIS claimed responsibility that left 32 dead.
“Once again, they have failed,” he stated, in reference to the Brussels attack. “Their barbarism only stiffens our unity and determination to wipe this vile terrorist organization off the face of the earth.”
Obama has faced criticism, especially from Republicans, for not being forceful enough against ISIS. He pointed out that the efforts made against the Islamic State are not always apparent to the public eye.
“We’re sending a message: If you target Americans, you have no safe haven — we will find you,” he asserted. “Our intelligence professionals and those of other nations have stopped numerous terrorist operatives in Syria and Iraq from entering Europe, thereby preventing attacks and gaining valuable intelligence.”