By Henry Hullah
United States and Arab strikes against ISIS in Syria were just the start of a campaign that is set to go on much longer, U.S. Rear Admiral John Kirby, the Pentagon Press Secretary, told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour on Tuesday.
“For us it’s more important to get this training and equipment done right then it is to get it done fast.”
“It’s going to take three to five months, now that we have the authorization and the funding to do it, to recruit and to vet a proper set of trainees, and then it’s going to take eight to twelve months to get them into the field in a confident way.”
“It’s going to take some time, which is why in the intervening months we’re going to continue to put pressure of ISIL from the air across the region.”
“We’re not turning a blind eye to ISIL’s spread inside Syria which why we conducted these strikes against them last night and why we’re going to continue putting pressure on them going forward.”
‘There’s still lots of work to do.’
Aside from the threat of ISIS the U.S. also targeted a group of veteran al Qaeda-affiliated terrorists known as the Khorasan Group, a threat many were not aware of before this morning.
Kirby told the program that strikes also succeeded in disrupting the plotting of this group against the United States.
“We certainly believe that we have disrupted their planning for this imminent attack that we know they were getting ready for and we definitely believe degraded some of their capabilities, but again we’re still assessing there’s still lots of work to do.”