Obama says anti-ISIS campaign now in new phase
President Barack Obama said on Sunday that the deployment of an additional 1,500 American troops to Iraq marks a “new phase” in the campaign against militants from the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria.
“Phase one was getting an Iraqi government that was inclusive and credible – and we now have done that,” Obama told CBS News.
“Rather than just try to halt ISIL’s [ISIS’] momentum, we’re now in a position to start going on some offense,” the president added.
“The air strikes have been very effective in degrading ISIL’s capabilities and slowing the advance that they were making,” Obama said, according to a CBS transcript. “Now what we need is ground troops, Iraqi ground troops, that can start pushing them back.”
U.S. air strikes on Saturday destroyed an ISIS convoy near the Iraqi city of Mosul, but U.S. officials said it was unclear whether the group’s top commander, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, had been in any of the 10 targeted vehicles.