1. Main
  2. Learn
  3. Politics
  4. Military

Obama says US not losing against Islamic State

Obama says US not losing against Islamic State Obama says US not losing against Islamic State

 US President Barack Obama has described the loss of key Iraqi territory to Islamic State as a tactical setback, while insisting the war against the jihadist group is not being lost, AFP reports.

"I don't think we're losing," Obama said in an interview with news magazine The Atlantic published Thursday, days after the Iraqi city of Ramadi was overrun.

"There's no doubt there was a tactical setback, although Ramadi had been vulnerable for a very long time," he said.

Since August 2014, on Obama's orders, a US-led coalition has hit more than 6,000 targets in Iraq and Syria with airstrikes, with the aim of degrading the Islamic State group.

Obama has refused to return US combat troops to Iraq, following a long brutal war after the overthrow of Saddam Hussein.

But the rout in Ramadi has called into question US strategy and the credibility of Iraq's central government.

Obama blamed it on a lack of training and reinforcement of Iraq's own security forces.

"They have been there essentially for a year without sufficient reinforcements," he said.

"But it is indicative that the training of Iraqi security forces, the fortifications, the command-and-control systems are not happening fast enough in Anbar, in the Sunni parts of the country."

Ramadi is in Iraq's minority Sunni heartland, a short drive from the capital Baghdad.

Even with sustained US airpower, many observers are skeptical the Iraqi army can win the war against the well trained and highly motivated Islamic State group.

Both Washington and Baghdad have reluctantly begun to advocate the use of ethnic and religious paramilitaries to bolster the fight.

The United States has pushed Iraq's central government to enlist Sunni tribesmen in Ramadi's Anbar province, something the Shiite-led government has been reluctant to do.

"There's no doubt that in the Sunni area we’re going to have to ramp up not just training, but also commitment, and we better get Sunni tribes more activated than they currently have been."


Nobel prizewinner proposes a new city in KZ
New abnormal snowfalls expected in Kazakhstan
Huge glacier retreat triggered in 1940s
Hyperloop construction begins in Las Vegas
"Moonlight" to top Spirit Awards nominations
Oil prices fall due to investors uncertainty
New dwarf galaxy discovered around Milky Way
Kanat Islam becomes a top ten WBO boxer
World oil prices continue to rise
Kazakhstan expects warming - Kazhydromet
Merkel to seek fourth term as chancellor
Sale of Tintin drawings set to break records
US, EU stocks fall as markets focus on dollar
Pacific leaders urged to defend free trade
EU warns eight nations on budget deficit
Universiade-2017: Athletic Village is ready
Bob Dylan can't make Nobel ceremony
Messi will never leave Barca - club president
Google, Facebook take aim at 'fake' news
Aerosmith announces Europe 'farewell' tour
Putin, Trump to normalise US-Russia ties
At least 10 hurt in southern Turkey blast
6.2 quake hits western Japan
OPEC agrees shock oil output cut
Israeli ex-president and Nobel laureate Peres dies
Germany blocks WhatsApp data transfers to Facebook
32,000 arrested in Turkey coup probe
Youth to the fore as Milan fashion week opens
Xenophobia threatening peace in eastern Germany
Four-in-10 Japanese are virgins: poll
Sweden re-militarises Baltic island of Gotland
China to launch second space laboratory: Xinhua
More than a billion stars mapped in Milky Way: ESA
Boxing: Golovkin eyes Saunders after stopping Brook
Kazakhstan shifts PM to security chief
Oil prices gain despite rising OPEC supply forecast
US to give Philippines military planes
Singapore wages war on Zika-bearing mosquitoes
Italy quake death toll nears 250
Viral photos add fuel to French burkini debate
18 dead as Italy struck by powerful quake
Japan's first lady visits Pearl Harbor
Pokemon's a no-go on Bangkok's roads
July was Earth's hottest month in modern times
Pakistan rock climbers scale new heights