The United States is not at war with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS or ISIL), Secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryCongress, Trump need a united front to face down Iran One year ago today we declared ISIS atrocities as genocide Trump’s realism toward Iran is stabilizing force for Middle East MORE said Thursday.

Kerry said the administration's plan to combat ISIS includes "many different things that one doesn't think of normally in context of war" during an interview with CNN.

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"What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counterterrorism operation," Kerry said. "It's going to go on for some period of time. If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL, they can do so, but the fact is it's a major counterterrorism operation that will have many different moving parts."

In a separate interview with CBS News, Kerry also rejected the word "war" to describe the U.S. effort and encouraged the public not to "get into war fever" over the conflict.

"We're engaged in a major counterterrorism operation, and it's going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation. I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity," Kerry told the network.

"I don't think people need to get into war fever on this. I think they have to view it as a heightened level of counterterrorist activity ... but it's not dissimilar similar to what we've been doing the last few years with al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan and in Yemen and elsewhere," he added.

On Wednesday night, President Obama announced that he was broadening an airstrike campaign against ISIS targets and expanding efforts to train and equip rebels in Syria.

In his remarks, Obama declared that "we will not get dragged into another ground war in Iraq" and said the effort was "different from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan."

"It will not involve American combat troops fighting on foreign soil," Obama said. "This counterterrorism campaign will be waged through a steady, relentless effort to take out [ISIS] wherever they exist, using our air power and our support for partner forces on the ground."