At a press briefing today alongside Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel called the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) an “imminent threat.” However, when questioned if the United States might be on the “same page” as Syrian President Bashar al-Assad in viewing ISIS as a danger to global stability, Hagel responded forcefully that Assad was a “central core of the problem” plaguing Syria and the Middle East generally.
“[ISIS is] as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we have seen. They’re beyond just a terrorist group,” Hagel said at a joint press briefing with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey.
Hagel added: “This is beyond anything we’ve seen. We must prepare for everything.”
The video of Hagel’s response that “Syria is very much a central part of the problem” in the region is embedded below.
[Photo: Screen Capture from C-Span ]