Screengrab/CBS News

Obama admits they underestimated Islamic State group and what was happening in Syria

He said that it must be accepted the military action is part of the solution.

IN A FRANK interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes, President Barack Obama admitted that the US underestimated IS.

When asked did it come as a surprise to him, he said they underestimated “what had been taking place in Syria”.

He explained al-Qaeda  in Iraq had “under ground” in the past couple of years but during the chaos of Syria they were able to establish themselves again and “attract foreign fighters” who “believed in their jihadist nonsense, who travelled everywhere from Europe to the United States to Australia and other parts of the Muslim world”.

Social media

Obama said IS had been savvy with their social media.

Part of a solution is military action, he explained, saying that they must shrink their space and go after their commanders in control  and their weapons, as well as cutting off their finances.

A political solution in Iraq and Syria must be found, but also one in the Middle East is needed in general as it is the “biggest cause of the conflict in the world”.

Meanwhile, fresh US-led strikes hit Islamic State group targets in Syria overnight, both in its Raqa province stronghold and in Aleppo province further west.

The coalition strikes hit jihadist targets outside Raqa city, the de facto headquarters of IS in Syria, the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said.

They also hit targets around the town of Minbej, east of second city Aleppo, that reportedly included IS-controlled grain silos, said the Britain-based group, which has a wide network of sources inside Syria.

The coalition already hit IS targets around Minbej on Saturday.

US warplanes began strikes against jihadist targets in Syria last Tuesday with the support of Arab allies, expanding an air campaign that Washington began in Iraq on 8 August.

Additional reporting Associated Press

Read: Al-Nusra terror group warns of attacks on nations involved in Syrian air strikes>

Read: British warplanes are already in the skies over Iraq waiting to attack>

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