America’s envoy to the global coalition against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) said on Sunday that there had never been a more dangerous terrorist organization than ISIS.
“We have got to get a handle on this,” McGurk told host Chuck Todd on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”
“This is something we’ve never seen before,” he said of ISIS. “This is a real threat to the United States.”
McGurk’s remarks come after President Obama admitted earlier this month that the U.S. “doesn’t have a complete strategy” for dealing with ISIS.
Obama then decided on June 10 that America would send an additional 450 military personnel to Iraq “to train, advise, and assist” Baghdad’s combat forces there.
McGurk praised this collaboration between Iraqi and U.S. troops during his NBC appearance on Sunday.
“They’ve actually had some real success,” McGurk said of Iraqi forces fighting ISIS.
“Every time we have advised and assisted an Iraqi operation, it has been successful,” he added.
McGurk also said that the Obama administration has tried to be respectful of Iraqi leadership during its ongoing battle with ISIS.
“We are there at the invitation of the Iraqi government,” he said of U.S. military personnel there.
“We’re not trying to make Iraq into a Jeffersonian democracy,” McGurk added.
McGurk additionally said on Sunday that coalition forces would soon work on countering ISIS gains in Anbar Province.
ISIS scored a major victory in Anbar last month when it took over Ramadi, the provincial capital.
“There’s a lot going on, Chuck,” McGurk told Todd. “Specifically, Anbar Province is where we’re focused on.”