Obama: 'We Have the Right Strategy' Against Islamic State 'And We're Going to See It Through'

November 16, 2015

President Obama doubled down on his administration's strategy against the Islamic State terrorist organization, saying "we have the right strategy and we're going to see it through" during a press conference Monday in Turkey.

In the wake of terrorist attacks by IS against Paris that killed at least 129 people, Obama's rhetoric that aired the day before the assault about having the group "contained" has come under scrutiny. However, he maintained that the U.S. was on the right track in its battle against it.

"While we are very clear-eyed about the very, very difficult road still ahead, the United States, in partnership with our coalition, is going to remain relentless on all fronts: military, humanitarian and diplomatic," Obama said. "We have the right strategy, and we're going to see it through."

He had a different tone Thursday.

"From the start, our goal has been first to contain, and we have contained them," he told ABC's George Stephanopoulos. "They have not gained ground in Iraq. And in Syria it -- they'll come in, they'll leave. But you don't see this systematic march by ISIL across the terrain."

Obama referred to the Islamic State as a "JV team" in 2014 before IS began its takeover of large swathes of Iraq and Syria, and he also received criticism for saying in August of that year that his administration did not "have a strategy yet" for dealing with its rise.

An IS sub-group appears to have released a video threatening an attack similar to the one in Paris on Washington, D.C., although the Washington Post reported that could not be confirmed yet.