By ALEXANDER BLEIER and ELIZABETH SIMONMANNAssociated PressWASHINGTON (AP) President Donald Trump is sending mixed signals about his administration’s strategy to deal with a threat posed by ISIS, a major U.S. military intelligence assessment concluded.
Trump has already ordered the Pentagon to start building a more robust effort to defeat the terror group, which has carried out a string of deadly attacks in the U.K., France and Germany.
It has also sought to impose sanctions on Russia, a key U.N. Security Council member, for allegedly assisting the group.
Trump on Tuesday warned the U,S.
and its allies to beware of a “coup” by the Islamic State.
He made the remarks during a speech to troops in Iraq, where he declared that the U and its NATO allies are “in the crosshairs of ISIS.”
Trump said on Tuesday that the Islamic state is not a “group that’s going to go away” and that “there’s no way to fight it alone.”
The comments come as Trump has taken a more aggressive approach to confronting ISIS in Syria and Iraq, a campaign that has also resulted in a string, U. S.-backed airstrikes against the group’s strongholds in Raqqa and Mosul.
In a speech in the Netherlands, Trump said he would deploy troops to Europe in the coming weeks, but it is not clear how many, if any, he would use.
He also said that the war in Iraq and Syria will be a “great adventure” that will “take a long time.”
The United States and its coalition partners, including the U; U.k., have been carrying out airstrikes against ISIS in Iraq since September 2015, when U.s. troops invaded and seized Mosul.
Trump has said he has made it clear to Russian President Vladimir Putin that he will not support Russian actions in Syria.
Trump’s statement Tuesday came hours after the Pentagon released a separate assessment of ISIS, which said the group is making gains in both Syria and Afghanistan and that the threat is “present and growing.”
The Pentagon said the assessment includes a “new assessment” that said the Islamic group is losing ground and that its ability to conduct terrorist attacks will “increase” as the U-S.-led coalition focuses its airstrikes on the group and its affiliates.