President Obama sat down for an interview with CBS News’ Norah O’Donnell today about Iraq. O’Donnell wondered if ISIS exploited a power vacuum in the Middle East and asked, “Would that vacuum exist had we backed the moderate rebel forces in Syria?” Obama dismissed the idea and called it a “fantasy” that these rebels would have been able to topple Bashar al-Assad even with U.S.-provided arms.
He said there was no “ready-made moderate Syrian force that was able to defeat Assad,” and so pitting “farmers and dentists and folks who’ve never fought before” against a dictator and the “highly-trained jihadists” would have only one outcome.
Therefore, Obama continued, it’s a “fantasy” that the U.S. just sending a few arms to the moderate rebels would have helped, and he got in a little dig at the end by saying this is something that Washington and the press corps should understand better.
Watch the video below, via CBS News:
[image via screengrab]
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