Obama: US underestimated Isis threat
President Barack Obama admitted Sunday that the United States underestimated the threat posed by Islamic State fighters in Syria.
“I think our head of the intelligence community, Jim Clapper, has acknowledged that they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria.” - President Barack Obama, referring to his director of national intelligence.
Asked whether Washington had also overestimated the ability or will of Iraq’s US-trained military to fight the jihadists on its own, Obama said: “That’s true. That’s absolutely true.”
Obama made this admission just as US-led coalition warplanes pounded the oil sites that fund the group, that has gained much notoriety after its series of videos executing captured Americans and Britons.
Experts say the jihadists were earning as much as $3 million (S$3.8 million) daily from oil before the coalition began launching strikes on Syria, building on the air war under way against IS in Iraq since August 8.
Isis leader warns Americans and Europeans that they will 'pay the higher price'.
In his first speech since air raids were launched on Syria, Abu Mohammad al-Jolani, the head of the Al-Qaeda affiliate there, Al-Nusra Front, warned of reprisals.
"Your leaders will not pay the price for the war alone, you will pay the higher price.” - Abu Mohammad al-Jolani said in an Internet audio message, addressing “people of America and Europe”.
Failure to stop these air strikes “will transfer the battle to your very homes", he said.
Washington has said it would press on with “near continuous” strikes, and the latest raids were part of intensifying efforts to disrupt the group’s lucrative oil-pumping and smuggling operations.