Obama: We have no strat­egy on IS

Sunday Express - - Front Page - By Cyril Dixon

US pres­i­dent Bar­rack Obama ad­mit­ted yes­ter­day that he does not have a plan to deal with the blood-stained rise of Is­lamic State ji­hadists.

Asked if he would seek Con­gres­sional ap­proval for at­tacks on Sunni Mus­lim IS forces in Syria as well as in Iraq, he damped down calls for swift ac­tion, say­ing: “I don’t want to put the cart be­fore the horse.” He added: “We don’t have a strat­egy yet. Some of the news re­ports sug­gest that folks are get­ting a lit­tle fur­ther ahead of where we’re at than we cur­rently are.”

The pres­i­dent, who was due to con­sider his mil­i­tary op­tions with his Na­tional Se­cu­rity Coun­cil, stressed that he wanted to en­sure IS was not “over­run­ning Iraq”. But he said: “Syria is not sim­ply a mil­i­tary is­sue, also a po­lit­i­cal is­sue.

“It’s also an is­sue that in­volves all the Sunni states in the re­gion and Sunni lead­er­ship recog­nis­ing that this can­cer that has de­vel­oped is one that they have to be just as in­vested in de­feat­ing as we are.”

Al­though the US has car­ried out air strikes on IS in Iraq, the White House is re­luc­tant to em­bark on a

it’s wider mil­i­tary campaign. Mr Obama’s re­sis­tance was at odds with Joint Chiefs of Staff chair­man Gen­eral Martin Dempsey, who says IS can only be beaten if the US acts in both coun­tries.

Repub­li­can Mike Rogers, chair­man of the House In­tel­li­gence Com­mit­tee, said: “It just con­firmed what we’ve been talk­ing about re­ally for al­most two years – there has been no real strat­egy.”

Pres­i­dent Obama... no plan

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