"We are in the degrade portion of this operation,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest told reporters in today's press briefing, pushing back against those who are calling for an overhaul of the current strategy and drawing a hard line against the consideration of a large-scale military deployment.
“The president is not going to be in a position where he's going to consider a large-scale U.S. military deployment,” Earnest added. “And for those who are calling on a change in strategy, I would encourage them to be specific.”
“What's under consideration is how can we learn from those situations where we have had success and made progress and how can we apply those lessons to this area where we have experienced a setback,” Earnest told Karl.
Though Earnest said the White House is “deeply concerned” about the situation in Palmyra, the administration is not changing its current strategy in Syria.
“Until we're able to build up local forces on the ground in Syria who can take the fight to ISIL in their own country, you know, this is going to continue to be a difficult challenge, and one that is not going to be solved overnight, but rather, one that will require a long-term commitment,” he said.