Obama reviews strategy against ISIS

US President Barack Obama has reviewed his strategy in Iraq and Syria and discussed the assessed impact of coalition air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) in both countries, the White House said.

PTI| Last Updated: Oct 18, 2014, 13:21 PM IST

Washington: US President Barack Obama has reviewed his strategy in Iraq and Syria and discussed the assessed impact of coalition air strikes against the Islamic State (IS) in both countries, the White House said.

During his meeting with the national security team, Obama received an update on the political and security situation in Iraq and Syria, the White House said.

The meeting among others was attended by Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry, National Security Advisor Susan Rice and Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

"He reviewed coalition plans to help train, advise, and equip Iraqi ground forces as they take the fight to ISIL in the near term and over time, including the need to fill critical gaps and to integrate fully the unique capabilities of key coalition partners," the White House said.

Meanwhile, the US military forces continued to attack IS positions in Syria using jets to conduct seven airstrikes.

Separately, partner nation military forces used fighter aircraft to conduct two airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq.

Six airstrikes took place near Kobani in Syria where reports indicate they successfully struck three IS buildings, destroyed two IS fighting positions, suppressed three others and destroyed two IS vehicles, the US Central Command said.

One airstrike near Shadadi successfully struck IS oil collection equipment consisting of several "POL tanks" (petroleum, oil and lubricants) and a pump station, which represents part of the terrorist group's oil producing, processing and transportation infrastructure.

"This strike was intended to destroy a portion of ISIL's ability to operate oil tanker trucks at oil collection points," it said.

"In Iraq, partner nation aircraft conducted one airstrike west of Baiji where initial reports indicate they destroyed both an ISIL artillery piece and an ISIL ammunition storage area. Another partner nation airstrike northeast of Baiji struck a small ISIL unit and damaged an ISIL vehicle.? All aircraft departed the strike areas safely," CENTCOM said.

The White House said the US continues to be very concerned about threats emanating from Syria, including threats from the Khorasan Group.

"As we continue to carry out airstrikes with our coalition partners in Syria, they?ll be focused principally on denying a safe haven from extremist groups that are attempting to operate in that region of the world," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.

"Obviously ISIL does get the most attention because they seem to be operating with the largest footprint there. But we continue to be concerned about the capability and the efforts of other extremist groups that are operating in Syria, including the Khorasan Group, and it's something that we continue to watch very closely," Earnest said.