• August 5, 2016
  • America's Newsroom — FOX News

Are Efforts in the Middle East Forcing ISIS to Shift Tactics?

Robert J. O'Neill on America's Newsroom

ISIS Actively Telling Radicalized Recruits, ‘Don't Come Here, Just Kill People Where You Are.’

Highlights from the exchange:

Elizabeth: “So we heard from Secretary Ash Carter and also the President talk about the spread of ISIS. But the President used one word that I didn’t hear from Defense Secretary Ash Carter and correct me if I’m wrong. I heard him use the word, ‘decline’ as he talked about the fact that the decline of ISIS in Iraq and Syria appear to be forcing a shift in tactics from the terror group. Is that the right way to categorize it?”

Rob: “Well, Elizabeth, what he is saying by decline is that they are taking some ground back from Iraq, which they hopefully are going to be able to do. It’s a very strange bedfellow, though, because a lot of that (decline) is Iranian-backed Shia–Iran versus Sunni–ISIS. And they are taking some major cities. Hopefully, they will take Mosul before the President is out of office. It remains to be seen.”

“You are seeing now in Libya that we are doing airstrikes there, but ISIS is fighting on the ground. They’ve spread to 18 countries. So you’ve got ISIS…with many safe havens. They are doing a good job with the airstrikes as far as finding these fighters — I don’t want to get into how they find them. The airstrikes do hit large conglomerates of them and take out a lot of guys there.”

“But where it’s going to end…they need to get rid of the caliphate as I’ve been saying this for years. We are going to need an American-led coalition boots on the ground to take out Raqqa, Syria, the capital.”

“The ideology is what’s glamorizing everything. That’s why a lot of these people, we have even seen as far as law enforcement here in the United States now, are ISIS inspired. They are getting radicalized in prisons here…because of ISIS’s romantic capital in Raqqa. And you see it all over Europe. They have such a safe haven there, now, that they are actively telling young radicalized young Muslim men, ‘don’t come here, just kill a bunch of people where you are.’”

“We can continue to fight that. So, yeah, ISIS is spreading. We are taking some places in Iraq, but that’s not the big picture here.”

Watch the Segment Here: