US President Barack Obama today said that America-led global fight against ISIS is long and hard fight, but hoped that Iraq’s second city Mosul would be retaken from the dreaded terror group “eventually”. “This is a long, hard fight, but what we’ve seen is they’ve lost territory. And as we see, the Iraqis willing to fight and gaining ground, let’s make sure that we’re providing them more support,” Obama told Charlie Rose of the CBS News.
“We’re not doing the fighting ourselves. But when we provide training, when we provide special forces who are backing them up, when we are gaining intelligence working with the coalitions that we have, what we’ve seen is that we can continually tighten the noose,” he said.
Obama said his expectation is that by the end of the year, they will have created the conditions whereby Mosul will eventually fall. Iraq’s northern city Mosul was overrun during an ISIS offensive in June 2014 and has become the group’s stronghold.
Responding to a question, Obama said he feels about ISIS and its leaders the same way as he did about al-Qaeda chief Osama bin Laden, when he was elected as the president.
“I feel the same way about the entire ISIL (ISIS) leadership structure, which is as wicked and as destructive as any group of individuals on this planet,” he said.
“My goal is to make sure that we’re doing things right and we’ve got a plan and we execute. You take bin Laden as an example. I would have liked to have gotten him this first year. But you don’t have that luxury as president. What you have the ability to do is to put and train all the pieces, intelligence, military, diplomatic, and you just keep on grinding it out,” Obama added.