A spokesman for the US State Department said on Tuesday that while the international coalition led by America launches intense air bombardments against Daesh/ISIS sites that undermine the organisation’s capacity, decisive victories will require ground troops. John Kirby made his remarks in response to questions about the effectiveness of the US strategy one year since they began. “Daesh is no more than a terrorist movement, despite claiming that it is a state,” said Kirby. “It is no more than loose members and their defeat is certain.”
The spokesman added that at the end of the day there must be ground forces responsible for uprooting and defeating the organisation. “These forces, though, must be local forces,” he insisted, stressing that the United States will not send ground troops to fight the group in Iraq or Syria.
“This is what is happening on the ground,” Kirby explained. “There are Iraqi armed forces and friendly militias that are fighting valiantly and effectively in several areas in Iraq while US trainers are in Iraq doing an important role in preparing these forces and providing field advice to them.” He noted the role played by the US-led coalition through intensive aerial bombardments to support Kurdish Peshmerga forces in northern Syria in their war against the militant group.
Meanwhile, US President Barack Obama said on Tuesday that the United States should not send ground troops to the Middle East or get involved in a new war in the region. Speaking during a meeting with veterans in Pennsylvania, Obama said, “I am convinced that we must not enter again into a large-scale ground war in the Middle East… This is not good for our national security or our troops.”
However, the president stressed the effectiveness of US aerial strikes against Daesh/ISIS sites in the region, pointing out that since the formation of the international coalition, the group has been hit on 5,000 occasions. Obama pointed out that the United States provides “training and support to local forces fighting Daesh in Iraq and Syria” and noted that the recent fighting proved that defeating the group is possible.