WASHINGTON: President Barack Obama said yesterday the US has embarked on a long-term mission to defeat the insurgents of the so-called “Islamic State” fighting in Iraq.
Ten days after ordering air strikes against the jihadist fighters, Obama warned that IS remains a threat to Iraq and the wider region, telling Baghdad “the wolf is at the door”.
“We will continue to pursue a long-term strategy to turn the tide against ISIL by supporting the new Iraqi government and working with key partners in the region,” he said, using one of the group’s acronyms.
Obama repeated his support for new premier-designate Haidar Al Abadi’s attempts to form a more inclusive government, but warned he must act quickly to undercut support for the radicals.
“In order for them to be credible with the Iraqi people, they’re going to have to put behind some of the old practices and actually create a credible united government.
“Our goal is to have effective partners on the ground. And if we have effective partners on the ground, mission creep is much less likely,” promising a joint “counter-terrorism” strategy with Iraq and US allies.