CIA director John Brennan claimed the forward movements of ISIS terrorists have been “blunted” and halted in Iraq and Syria because of U.S. allied airstrikes – but cautioned against considering Iran an ally in the fight.
Iran may be fighting against the spread of ISIS, he said. But that doesn’t mean Tehran could be considered a partner in this battle, Brennan said, during a “Fox News Sunday” interview.
“I wouldn’t consider Iran an ally,” he said.
Ali Younusi, an adviser to Iranian Supreme Leader Ali Khamenei, seemed to underscore that perception with a recent statement reported by Business Insider: “Iran is an empire once again at last, and its capital is Baghdad.”
On Fox News, Brennan also claimed good news in the war against ISIS, saying the group is not “on the march” as previously.
He went on: “Clearly, ISIS momentum inside of Iraq and Syria has been blunted and it has been stopped. Our working with the Iraqis and the Iraqis now trying to push back against it, it is having some great, I think, progress.
He also acknowledged the terror group was making in other parts of the region, referring to recent attacks in Tunisia and Yemen.
Those attacks were proof “these [ISIS=tied] franchises are blowing up in Libya and other areas,” Brennan said, NBC reported. “This is something that clearly is not just restricted to Iraq and Syria. So, we cannot relent. We have to continue working with our partners in the region.
His remarks raised some eyebrows in the military intelligence sector. As Business Insider reported, ISIS has already taken over massive swaths of land in both Iraq and Syria, and reports have widely circulated about the failure of the Iraqi army to adequately address the threat, due in part to the large desertion rate crippling the force.
Meanwhile, on “Fox & Friends” on Monday morning, Richard Newton, a retired lieutenant general with the U.S. Air Force, said: “The jury’s still out on that.”