In a surprising statement, US President Barack Obama said on Monday that his administration does not have "a complete strategy" to fight the brutal Islamic State (ISIS) terrorist organization that has been expanding its iron grasp over wide sections in Syria and Iraq.
The Washington Free Beacon uploaded his comments made at a news conference during the G-7 conference being held in Germany; his admission can be seen starting at 2 minutes and 22 seconds into the video below.
"When a finalized plan is presented to me by the Pentagon, then I will share it with the American people," Obama told the reporters. "We don’t yet have a complete strategy because it requires commitments on the part of the Iraqis as well about how recruitment takes place, how that training takes place. So the details of that are not yet worked out."
The comment would seem to support the massive criticism Obama has faced from his opponents, who charge he has not done enough to confront the threat of ISIS.
Prior to the statement, Obama called ISIS terrorists "nimble and aggressive," noting how they have conquered strategic sites including last month the key city of Ramadi, which is the capital of Iraq's largest province.
After the embarrassing fall of Ramadi, Obama said late last month, "I don't think we're losing," trying to downplay the stinging defeat as a mere tactical setback.
Speaking about the influx of foreign jihadists into Syria on Monday, Obama said, "not all of that is preventable, but a lot of it is preventable if we've got better cooperation, better coordination, better intelligence, if we are monitoring what's happening at the Turkish-Syria border more effectively."
Stopping that flow of foreign fighters would "isolate and wear out (ISIS) forces that are already there because we're taking a lot of them off the battlefield. But if they're being replenished, then it doesn't solve the problem over the long term," said Obama.
He added, "this is an area where we've been seeking deeper cooperation with Turkish authorities who recognize it's a problem, but haven't fully ramped up the capacity they need, and this is something that I think we've got to spend a lot of time on."