State Spox Contradicts Obama About Who Is Responsible for Rise of Islamic State
State Spox Contradicts Obama About Who is Responsible for Rise of Islamic State (The Washington Free Beacon)
State Department spokesperson John Kirby on Thursday contradicted President Obama’s account of how the Islamic State (IS, also ISIL or ISIS) rose to prominence, saying the Syrian Civil War and Bashar al-Assad created the conditions necessary for IS’s rise.
Kirby was pressed on this point by Fox News correspondent James Rosen, who pointed out that President Obama has implicitly placed the blame for IS at the feet of his predecessor, George W. Bush.
“You just told us it was Bashar al-Assad who created the conditions that allowed ISIS to occupy the space it now does,” Rosen said. “That seems to place you at odds with President Obama, who says that ISIS’s current prominence is a byproduct of the Iraq War.
“So I just want to give you an opportunity to clarify what you’re saying and whether you believe it was Bashar al-Assad that nurtured the growth of ISIS or whether you think it was George W. Bush and Dick Cheney?” Rosen asked.
Kirby said that the State Department blames Assad for creating the conditions necessary for IS to flourish in Syria and expand into Iraq.
“We’ve long said that ISIL’s growth is a function, at least in Syria—and I’ve said this, and Secretary Kerry has said this many times—of the conditions Bashar al-Assad has established in his country,” Kirby said.