The general gave no indication of impending US military action in Syria, saying very clearly, “I’m not predicting those will occur in Syria, at least not by the US.”
But when asked if airstrikes into Syria were likely, secretary of defense Chuck Hagel, who addressed the briefing with Dempsey, said, “We are looking at all options.” They were both clear, though, airstrikes alone won’t do. An inclusive government in Baghdad would be critical, for one. “Political reform will make it harder for ISIS to exploit sectarian divisions,” said Hagel.
Outrage over the execution of American journalist James Foley is building pressure on the Obama administration to do more against the ISIS.
Hagel said: “ISIS is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group. They marry ideology, a sophistication of strategic and tactical military prowess. They are tremendously well-funded.” “This is beyond anything that we’ve seen. So we must prepare for everything,” he added.
President Barack Obama has called the ISIS “cancer”.