President Obama Vows to 'Completely Decapitate' ISIS Operations

The president sat down with ABC News' George Stephanopoulos.

“What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures. We've made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters,” Obama said. “Part of our goal has to be to recruit more effective Sunni partners in Iraq to really go on offense rather than simply engage in defense.”

The president said his team has crafted a strategy that “contained the momentum that ISIL had gained,” but said there will continue to be problems in the region “until we get the Syria political situation resolved.”

“Until [Syrian President Bashar al-] Assad is no longer a lightning rod for Sunnis in Syria and that entire region is no longer a proxy war for Shia-Sunni conflict, we're going to continue to have problems,” he said. “I would distinguish between making sure that the place is perfect -- that's not going to happen anytime soon -- with making sure that ISIL continues to shrink in its scope of operations until it no longer poses the kind of threat that it does.”

“Over the last several years I've had access to all the best military minds in the country and all the best foreign policy minds in the country, and I'm not running for office. And so my only interest is in success,” the president said.

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