Looking back at the accomplishments of the Obama Administration, clearly, one of the most important achievements of President Barack Obama, and of the U.S. Department of State, is the successful campaign to stop Daesh in its tracks, reverse its gains and find a way to destroy it.
Little more than two and a half years ago, Daesh, also known as ISIL, controlled about one third of the territory of Iraq. They overran and plundered cities and villages, murdering, raping and enslaving thousands of people. They gleefully destroyed ancient cultural sites, declared themselves the leaders of all of Islam and proclaimed the establishment of a world-wide Islamic Caliphate.
“At President Obama’s direction, we here worked overtime to assemble a 68-nation coalition that has come together from across the globe to oppose a genocidal enemy waging war on civilization itself,” said Secretary of State John Kerry:
“The President of the United States made an immediate decision then to deploy American airpower and to guarantee the safety of Baghdad – indeed, the security of Iraq and the region itself. And together with our coalition members and friends, we did not let the worst happen. We turned it around.”
“Our strategy has been to rehabilitate Iraq’s military, to kill Daesh’s leaders, to demolish their revenue sources, to curb their recruitment, to rebut their poisonous ideas, and to support our local partners as they liberate the towns and the communities that Daesh once occupied. I’m proud to tell you that that plan has in fact been working. Today, Kobani is free. Tikrit is free. Fallujah is free. Ramadi is free. And in time, Mosul, where there’s about a 60 percent liberation of the eastern side of the community, is inextricably going to be free. And then, Raqqa. And before long, Daesh’s phony caliphate is going to have been turned to dust,” said Secretary Kerry.
That doesn’t mean that Daesh is gone, said Secretary Kerry. But we have made enormous gains without betraying our democratic values or changing our way of life, he said. “And I guarantee you that over the period of this next year and into the future, Daesh is going to be thoroughly defeated.”