The White House downplayed recent gains by Islamic State terrorists today, saying that their leaders are using supporters as “sacrificial lambs” for “quixotic” war efforts.
During today’s White House press briefing, Earnest described ISIS as a group that was “working very hard to replenish their ranks” after losing so many militants on “essentially hopeless” campaigns.
He reminded reporters that although ISIS took much of the Syrian city in October, they were eventually driven out by coalition forces, costing them the lives of about 1,000 soldiers.
In recent days, administration officials vowed to redouble their supportive efforts against ISIS, but it clear that the success or failure of the mission relies primarily on the Iraqi soldiers combating the terrorist organization.
“Ultimately, and what we’re going to need to see is a more successful and more consistent effort in execution of the strategy by Iraqi security forces on the battlefield,” he explained. “We have seen important places of progress and there are some areas where with additional support, we hope that they will recover from recent setbacks.”
When asked about reports that President Obama is exploring a new strategy against ISIS, Earnest denied that any major changes would be made citing an “ongoing, robust” effort.
“I wouldn’t expect any major presidential announcements on this in the near future,” he said.