Defeating the Islamic State (IS) in Iraq and Syria region is a lengthy process that might take up to five years, RIA Novosti reported Pentagon Press Secretary John Kirby's statement.
"This is going to take a while... I can't predict. I don't pretend to be smart enough to predict exactly how long on the calendar it's going to take. We have said it is probably going to take 3 to 5 years," Kirby said during press conference answering a question about defeating IS terrorists.
Kirby explained that the Pentagon has been honest from the very beginning about how hard and how long it is going to take to degrade and destroy IS capabilities and remove terrorists as a threat in Iraq and in the region.
"What really has to happen here, is the defeat of ideology, and that's not going to be done at the barrel of a gun," Kirby said, adding that a coalition of over 60 countries is contributing whatever they can into this effort.
Islamic State, a radical Sunni jihadist group, came to prominence fighting Assad's forces during the civil war in Syria in 2012. Since then, the militants have occupied large areas of neighboring Iraq, including its second largest city Mosul, and has declared an Islamic caliphate over territories under its control in both countries. The group is infamous for its brutal methods that include public crucifixions and beheading hostages.