President Obama on ISIS Fight: 'We Don't Yet Have a Complete Strategy'
The two men on the sidelines of the G7 Summit Monday.
— -- Ten months since the start of the American-led intervention against ISIS in Iraq, President Obama said today that the United States does not have a "complete strategy" to defeat ISIS and stem the group's rise in Syria and Iraq.
"We don't yet have a complete strategy," Obama said at the G7 summit of world leaders in Germany. "The details of that are not yet worked out."
Obama said he will announce a proposal for escalating the speed and scale of the training of Iraqi forces "when a finalized plan is presented to me by the Pentagon." He said the Iraqis still have to make commitments to make the strategy complete.
The president's comments echoed a statement he made last August shortly after U.S.-led airstrikes against ISIS first began.
“We don’t have a strategy yet," the president said. This came in response to a question whether he would seek congressional approval for the military campaign against ISIS.
Ten months later, the administration's plan to combat ISIS is under fire as the Islamic state has secured victories in Iraq and Syria.
Prior to his news conference, Obama met with Iraqi Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi at the G7 Summit in Germany today to discuss the fight against ISIS. The two men vowed ISIS would eventually be defeated.
“I’m confident that although it is going to take time and there will be setbacks and lessons learned, that we are going to be successful, ISIL is going to be drive out of Iraq, and ultimately it is going to be defeated,” the president said in the meeting.
“Undoubtedly, we will win the war,” Abadi said.
It was the first time the two men have met since ISIS took control of Ramadi last month. Abadi assured the president that the loss of Ramadi will not be permanent.
U.S. Defense Secretary Ash Carter recently made controversial comments suggesting the Iraqi security forces lack the will to fight ISIS, a statement that surprised the Iraqi prime minister.
Before they met in private Monday, there was an awkward moment between the two leaders. Obama was engaged in a deep conversation with Italian Prime Minister Mario Renzi and IMF head Christine Lagarde when Prime Minister Abadi sat down next to the three leaders. But none of the leaders acknowledged Abadi as they sat merely a foot away from him.
The three leaders eventually stood up, prompting Abadi to stand as well. Unrecognized by the leaders involved in conversation, Abadi looked at his watch as his translator lifted his hands in the air and eventually walked away.
Though Iraq is not a member of the G7, Abadi participated in the summit as a member of an outreach group to discuss terrorism and development. Newly elected Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari and Tunisian PresidenT Beji Caid Essebi also participated in the summit.
ABC's Justin Fishel contributed to this report.