President Barack Obama has received criticism for stating that ISIS had been “contained” just 24 hours before the deadly terrorist attacks in Paris that killed 128 people on Friday night.
Barack Obama made these comments during an interview that was conducted on Thursday with George Stephanopoulos that was aired on ABC’s Good Morning America on Friday morning. Obama stated that he didn’t believe ISIS were actually gaining strength.
During the interview Obama remarked, “What is true is that from the start, our goal has been first to contain and we have contained them. They have not gained ground in Iraq, and in Syria they’ll come in, they’ll leave, but you don’t see the systemic march by ISIL across the terrain.”
Barack Obama did admit that they had been unable “to completely decapitate ISIS” though, explaining, “What we have not yet been able to do is to completely decapitate their command and control structures.”
Obama continued, “We’ve made some progress in trying to reduce the flow of foreign fighters, and part of our goal has to be be to recruit more effective Sunni partners to Iraq to really go on offense rather than simply engage in defense.”
Later on Friday evening, six separate, but connected, terrorist attacks took place in Paris, resulting in the deaths of at least 128 people. ISIS later took responsibility for these attacks.
Because of Barack Obama’s comments just hours before the Paris terrorist attacks, critics of the president soon took this opportunity to criticize him, which included Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump.
President Obama said “ISIL continues to shrink” in an interview just hours before the horrible attack in Paris. He is just so bad! CHANGE.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 14, 2015
Obama says ”ISIS is Contained” tell that to the parents of Nohemi Gonzalez. It’s time to elect a Conservative.
— Bobbi Smith (@palmaceiahome1) November 14, 2015
ISIS attacks Paris hours after @BarackObama claims he has “contained” them, just like he “defeated” al Qaeda and “ended the war” in Iraq.
— Liz Cheney (@Liz_Cheney) November 14, 2015
— israel_shield (@israel_shield) November 14, 2015
— SOBL1 (@SOBL1) November 14, 2015
“We have contained them.” —Barack Obama on ISIS, 11-13-2015, hours before #Paris carnage. Dangerously delusional or downright dishonest?
— Dr. Milton Wolf (@miltonwolfmd) November 14, 2015
Didn’t barack Obama recently say “We have #ISIS contained” must have meant they have them contained in France.
— Behind Enemy Lines (@BushwackCA) November 13, 2015
— Liz (@LizzzT) November 13, 2015
An official for President Barack Obama later tried to explain his remarks, stating, “It means exactly what he said. Their momentum in terms of territorial gains in Iraq and Syria has been contained/halted… We, including the President, have said from the beginning the fight against ISIL would be long and have both good and bad days.”
Speaking to CNN, via the Daily Mail, a senior U.S. intelligence official confirmed that U.S. officials are currently “proving any assistance” to the French’s investigation into the events in Paris, and, currently, they have no evidence “that contradicts President Hollande’s assessment” that ISIS were responsible.
On Saturday, Barack Obama flew out to Turkey for the G20 summit, where he will meet other world leaders for the event. He will then conduct a nine-day foreign tour, which will see him fly to Malaysia and the Philippines.
[Image via Getty / Win McNamee]