WH Defends Syria Strategy: ISIS Is ‘Scared’ to Come Outside

Thursday at the White House press briefing, press secretary Josh Earnest defended President Barack Obama’s failure thus far to degrade ISIS in Syria, as pointed out by The Wall Street Journal by saying ISIS leadership “are scared to spend a whole lot of time outside.”

Earnest said,  “We have destroyed several hundred ISIL vehicles, buildings and command and control buildings. More than 1,000 ISIL fighters have been killed. We know, based on reports, ISIL’s leadership of Iraq and in Syria is under intense pressure. That these individuals for good reason are scared to spend a whole lot of time outside. And that’s because they are facing continuing pressure from the U.S. military and from our coalition partners.”

“The other thing that you know about this is that there’s an aspect of our strategy that has not yet taken root, which is the effort to train and equip moderate Syrian opposition fighters. We are working with our coalition partners to do that and that is something that we will be ramped up in the coming months, and at that time we will better be able to assess how effective they are on the battlefield. Thus far, I think I would acknowledge that opposition fighters have not been particularly effective in countering the threat from ISIL. But I would anticipate to start with training and equipment from the United States and our coalition partners, and backed by the military air power, their performance will be more effective. But we will have to evaluate that.” he concluded.

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