Susan Rice Calls ISIS An Al Qaeda Cancer That Has Spread

President Obama’s National Security Adviser, Susan Rice, has defended U.S. airstrikes in Syria against members of ISIS.

In an interview with NBC‘s Matt Lauer of the Today Show, Susan Rice revealed that the air strikes against ISIS and the Khorasan group were successful in impacting the targets they were aimed at. While declining to give details on tangible results of the strikes, she indicated that based on preliminary assessment the Obama administration was happy with the operation which took place Monday night as reported by the Inquisitr.

For his part, President Obama has said that the U.S. will continue to take the fight to terrorists, according to CNN.

In his remarks after the strikes he said, “once again, it must be clear to anyone who would plot against America and try to do Americans harm that we will not tolerate safe havens for terrorists who threaten our people.”

In continuing his interview with Susan Rice, Lauer challenged her on the ability of the U.S. administration to deal with terrorist threats as decisively as they dealt with Al Qaeda. Rice, however, was quick to point out that ISIS is a unique challenge that makes it different from Al Qaeda.

“We have been focused for many years, as you know, on Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan, what we call Al Qaeda core. And that element of Al Qaeda, which is the one that hatched the 9/11 plot and executed it, has been substantially degraded and doesn’t at this stage pose nearly the same type of threat that it used to. What has happened, though, over years, is that Al Qaeda has metastasized. Imagine a cancer that had an original tumor. Now elements of the cells of that tumor have moved to places like the Arabian peninsula, Yemen, parts of Africa, Somalia, and what we call the Sahel region, Mali. And now also to Syria. So we are having to deal with each of these cells. As you’ve seen, we’ve taken action in Yemen, we’ve taken action in Somalia, and now we’re taking action, as necessary, in Syria.”

As it regards the strategy of using airstrikes to fight ISIS, Rice has said that a large on-the-ground operation, as was conducted in Iraq, would not be in the cards. She indicated that the U.S. led coalition against ISIS would continue using airstrikes as a targeted method of reaching ISIS members and other terrorist groups.

Susan Rice has been instrumental in leading the fight against ISIS.

Read: Full Script of Interview [Watch]

[Photo credit: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta]