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Obama: ISIS can be destroyed with time

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Obama spoke to reporters on Monday after being updated about the militant group at the Pentagon. He met Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and other officers

US President Barack Obama says the Islamic State militant group can be destroyed, but it will take time.

Obama spoke to reporters on Monday after being updated about the militant group at the Pentagon. He met Defense Secretary Ash Carter, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff General Martin Dempsey and other officers.

Obama said the US-led coalition has launched more than 5,000 airstrikes against the group and eliminated thousands of fighters, including senior commanders.
He said the militants are dug in among innocent citizen populations, so it will take time to root them out.

Obama added that if they have an effective partner on the ground, the militant group can be pushed back.

The president said more airstrikes will be conducted against the militants' strongholds in Syria. He emphasized that training of moderate anti-government forces to engage in ground combat in Syria would be accelerated.

The US-led coalition has been carrying out airstrikes near Syria's Raqqa, which the Islamic State group considers its capital. The coalition apparently wants to step up the offensive as the first anniversary of airstrikes is approaching.