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Obama: We 'underestimated' events in Syria

September 29, 2014 at 2:43 pm

US President Barack Obama admitted yesterday that Washington did not expect the deteriorating situation in Syria to lead to the emergence of “dangerous” and “extremist” groups such as ISIS.

Speaking to CBS television, Obama said that the veteran fighters of Al-Qaeda, who the US and Iraqi forces removed from Iraq, were able to gather in Syria and form the new dangerous organisation –ISIS.

Obama said the US had “underestimated” the events in Syria and the effect they would have on security in the region.

“But over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you have huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos,” Obama said.

“And so this became ground zero for jihadists around the world.”

A US-led coalition has recently been established to fight ISIS. It includes both Arab and EU countries.

Obama said that the ISIS media directors had became “highly skilful” regarding the use of social media to recruit new members in Europe, America, Australia and within Islamic countries.

He reiterated that the only solution was a military defeat, citing strikes aiming at preventing the organisation from owning lands and resources. However, he said that Syria and Iraq must work to solve their political problems.