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ISIL: not a caliphate, but a crime ring, says Obama

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By Euronews
ISIL: not a caliphate, but a crime ring, says Obama

<p>The US president has said that an end to the conflict in Syria is key to dismantling the so-called Islamic State, or <span class="caps">ISIL</span>. </p> <p>Barack Obama has vowed to prevail in the fight to destroy the group. </p> <p>He was addressing reporters ahead of US-Russian ceasefire plan in Syria. </p> <p>“More people are realising that <span class="caps">ISIL</span> is not a caliphate, it’s a crime ring,” he said. </p> <p>Obama continued: “It’s a criminal gang pretending to be a state, said one Syrian refugee. They turned out to be thieves, said another.”</p> <p>“So, they’re not winning over hearts and minds, and they are under severe pressure,” Obama added. “But, as we have said all along, the only way to deal with <span class="caps">ISIL</span>, in a way that defeats them in a lasting way, is to end the chaos and the civil war that has engulfed Syria.”</p> <p>The president pointed out that <span class="caps">ISIL</span> and the al-Qaeda-linked Nusra Front will remain targets during the cessation of hostilities. Both groups were not part of peace negotiations that took place earlier this month in Vienna.</p> <p>The cessation of hostilities is due to start at midnight at 23.00 <span class="caps">CET</span> on Friday February 26.</p>