Two former defense secretaries who served under President Obama are now criticizing his latest strategy to combat Islamic State militants.
Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta told CBS Evening News on Friday that the terrorist group rose to power because the U.S. pulled out of Iraq too quickly and waited too long to act in Syria.
“I really thought that it was important for us to maintain a presence in Iraq,” Mr. Panetta said in an interview set to air on “60 Minutes,” CBS reported Friday.
Mr. Panetta said the entire national security team urged Mr. Obama to give more support to rebels fighting in Syria against Bashar al-Assad.
Click HERE for video of Panetta
Kurds Flee to Turkey after IS Advance
Turkish Deputy Prime Minister Numan Kurtulmus said that more than 60,000 Syrian Kurds had crossed into the country, fleeing an onslaught by the Islamic State. The Syrian Observatory for Human Rights said 300 Kurdish fighters had entered Syria from Turkey to reinforce the Syrian Kurdish People's Protection Units (YPG) that are fighting the militants.
"The IS came to our village and threatened everyone. They bombed our village and destroyed all the houses. They beheaded those who chose to stay," said Mohammed Isa, 43.
Iran Wants Western Concessions for Cooperation Against ISIS
- Parisa Hafezi and Louis Charbonneau
Iran is ready to work with the U.S. to stop Islamic State militants, but would like to see more flexibility on Iran's uranium enrichment program, senior Iranian officials told Reuters. U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry said that Iran has a role to play in defeating the Islamic State.
Iran "can help in the fight against the ISIL (IS) terrorists...but it is a two-way street. You give something, you take something," said a senior Iranian official.
ISIS Calls for More Attacks on Egyptian Security Forces
The Islamic State called on insurgents in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula to press ahead with attacks against Egyptian security forces and continue beheadings.
"Rig the roads with explosives for them. Attack their bases. Raid their homes. Cut off their heads," ISIS spokesman Abu Muhammad al-Adnani said.into a coalition against the Islamic State, then rely upon Allah, and kill him."