U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry told ABC news Sunday that he admits that the war against the Islamic State (ISIS) is not near an end by insists the United States will win, even if he does not know when.
“Do you stand by your recent comments that we’re on the road to beating ISIS?” asked ABC interviewer Martha Raddatz.
What I said was we’re on the road to success, and that begins in Iraq, and yes, I stand by it. We are growing in the capacity on the ground… The fact is that in Iraq, they have gained back a fixed, significant percentage of the area that ISIL was controlling.
When reminded that Central Command said the Iraqi city of Mosul would be re-taken from ISIS by this spring, Kerry replied:
As I think you’ve seen, that has been contradicted and I think walked back. And there are a number of different options out there, so nobody should count on what they’ve read or what they’ve seen. This will happen when we are ready. It will happen on the coalition’s schedule, and it will happen when there is confidence that it will be successful.
I’m not going to get into timetables. It will happen.
He did not say whether it would be this year or another year but admitted that things in Syria are even tougher.
“Syria is a bigger challenge,” according to Kerry.” We will need people on the ground. It will not be American forces, but we are working on that…. Arab countries in the region are stepping up their efforts. I have meetings this week with all of the GCC. I’ll be meeting with King Salman of Saudi Arabia….
“”People are thinking about the day-to-day vision of what is happening on the ground in Syria, in Libya, where 21 Coptic Christians had their heads cut off, where a soldier is burned and a pilot in a cage, where American journalists have been beheaded publicly. We understand that. But I still stand by what I said, which is in large terms, compared to the last century, there are, in fact, fewer people dying of the means that you look at, by state war, violence, health, et cetera.”
The U.S.-led coalition on Sunday said it launched seven aerial strikes on ISIS targets in Iraq and that two American drones in Syria hit an ISIS unit and two vehicles.