WASHINGTON TIMES — Obama said Thursday that the U.S.-led fight against the Islamic State is making progress in spite of high-profile terrorist attacks, while Republican nominee Donald Trump charged that Mr. Obama has allowed the Islamist extremist group to rampage “out of control.”
“We’re going to keep going after ISIL aggressively,” Mr. Obama said at the Pentagon, using an acronym for the group. “We continue to take out senior ISIL leaders and commanders.”
Mr. Obama also hit back at Republican critics, including Mr. Trump, who accused the administration of paying $400 million in ransom to Iran to gain the release of five American hostages in January.
“We do not pay ransom for hostages,” Mr. Obama said. “We didn’t here, and we won’t in the future.”
The president said the Islamic State hasn’t had a major success in Iraq and Syria in a year. But Mr. Obama acknowledged that “lone wolf” attacks are on the rise, saying “the decline of ISIL in Syria and Iraq appears to be causing it to shift to tactics” in other countries.