Islamic State is a serious challenge: US President Barack Obama

The Islamic State (IS) terror group poses a serious security challenge but the US and the world community are going to prevail, President Barack Obama said on Monday.

PTI| Last Updated: Dec 21, 2015, 20:10 PM IST
Islamic State is a serious challenge: US President Barack Obama

Washington: The Islamic State (IS) terror group poses a serious security challenge but the US and the world community are going to prevail, President Barack Obama said on Monday.

“I think that it (IS) is very important for us to understand this is a serious challenge. IS is a virulent, nasty organisation that has gained a foothold in ungoverned spaces effectively in Syria and parts of western Iraq,” Obama told the National Public Radio in an interview.

Referring to the recent terrorist attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Obama said they show IS’ ability to proselytise for their perverted brand of Islam and spur small-scale attacks.

“Those are very difficult to detect, so it is going to be important for us to be vigilant. We are pounding IS’ core structure in Syria and Iraq,” he said.

As a result of actions by the US-led international coalition, IS has lost about 40 per cent of its populated territory in the region, he said.

“Both in terms of homeland security and in terms of our efforts over there, I am confident that we are going to prevail. But it is also important for us to keep things in perspective, and this is not an organisation that can destroy the United States,” Obama said.

“This is not a huge industrial power that can pose great risks to us institutionally or in a systematic way. But they can hurt us, and they can hurt our people and our families.  And so I understand why people are worried,” said president.

“The most damage they can do, though, is if they start changing how we live and what our values are, and part of my message over the next 14 months or 13 months that I remain in office is to just make sure that we remember who we are and make sure that our resilience, our values, our unity are maintained. If we do that then IS will be defeated,” Obama said.