Obama: ‘too early’ to say if U.S. is beating ISIS
U.S. President Barack Obama said on Wednesday it was too early to say whether a U.S.-led military coalition is winning against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“I think it’s too early to say whether we are winning because as I said at the outset of the ISIL campaign, this is going to be a long-term plan,” he said, warning of a lengthy campaign ahead.
He said he wants to work with the Republican-dominated Congress on a new authorization to use military force against the militant group.
He said the world needs to know the United States is united behind the effort, adding that the U.S. military members deserve their government’s clear support.
Previously, the White House has cited Congress’ 2001 authorization to wage war on terrorists responsible for Sept. 11 as legal grounds for its airstrikes against ISIS in Syria.
The Obama administration has also cited the invitation from Iraq’s leader for the U.S. to strike ISIS targets there, the Associated Press reported.
Passing a new authorization would mark a new chapter for U.S. military engagement in the Middle East.
Obama spoke the day after midterm elections, in which his party suffered heavy losses and Republicans seized the Senate.