President Barack Obama said Sunday he will not be “losing” on the war footing necessary to defeat the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL), and warned that ISIL is a “virus.”
Speaking at a joint press conference with Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull, Obama said the fight against ISIL will be the “first of many,” as the United States tries to win the support of other nations, as well as regional partners, to confront the terror group.
“We need to win, and we need to do it together,” Obama said.
“I don’t want to lose this fight, I don’t think that it’s appropriate for me to lose.”
Obama said ISIL will not go away without a fight, and he did not think there was a reason to fear that the group would be defeated.
“I think that ISIL has to be defeated,” Obama told reporters, before addressing the media about ISIL’s “viral” propaganda and propaganda operations.
“The more that we see ISIL propagandizing, the more people who will want to join ISIL, the less likely they are to turn against ISIL,” he said.
“And the better we can defeat ISIL, I think the more likely it is that ISIL will have to come to an end.”
Obama stressed that the United State will not “lose” on its fight against the ISIL threat, and that the threat is “growing and it’s going to get worse.”
“We will win.
We will defeat ISIL,” Obama declared.”
This is a battle that has been going on for some time, and ISIL is not going away,” he added.
Obama said the goal of the United Nations Security Council is to find a political solution to the conflict in Syria and that it should be done in a way that is acceptable to all parties.
He also noted that ISIL must be defeated, but did not specifically address the possibility of a peace process.
Obama did not rule out military intervention in Syria.
“There’s a very clear view in the United Nation Security Council that there should be a political process, that there is a political transition,” he told reporters.
“If that’s not possible in the near term, then we will act,” he continued.
“But if that is possible, then our allies and partners will have the capability to act to protect their countries.”
Obama also said the United states is working on a new policy toward Iran, saying that President Donald Trump is committed to “putting the brakes on that regime’s destabilizing activities in the region.”
Obama is due to leave for the G20 summit in Germany on Saturday, where he will meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping and British Prime Minister Theresa May.
He will hold a joint news conference with Turnbull and Australian Prime Minster Julie Bishop on Sunday morning.
The U.S. is currently hosting a U.N. summit on nuclear nonproliferation, which has been held in Switzerland since March.
The United States has been one of the main backers of the nuclear agreement reached in 2015 between Iran, Russia, China and the United Kingdom.