State Department Spox: ISIS Surprised Itself with Rise

State Department Spox: ISIS Surprised Itself with Rise

Monday on CNN’s “The Situation Room,” State Department Spokesperson Marie Harf said not only was U.S. intelligence caught off guard by the quick rise of ISIS in Syria and eventually Iraq, but ISIS itself was surprised.

“The president said, for a long time we’ve known about the serious threat from ISIL,” Harf said. “But everyone, us, the Iraqis, even ISIS itself, was surprised by how quickly earlier this summer they were able to take territory in Iraq. They moved more quickly than anyone could have imagined. Assessing the will of a force to fight, the capability is one thing you can assess, but the will is a tough thing to assess. I know these are challenging assessments to do.”

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