The White House and the Pentagon said for the first time yesterday that the United States is indeed "at war" with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), contradicting U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry, who maintained a day earlier that Washington's efforts cannot be seen as part of the "war on terror," the Christian Post website reports today (September 13, 2014).
"In the same way that the United States is at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates... the United States is at war with ISIS," White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said.
Pentagon spokesman Rear Adm. John Kirby was also quoted as saying that while "this is not the Iraq War" from a decade ago, Washington is "at war with ISIS in the same way we are at war and continue to be at war with al Qaeda and its affiliates."
On September 11, Kerry described the U.S. efforts to defeat ISIS militants as a "very significant... major counterterrorism operation," but added that "war is the wrong terminology." Kerry's spokeswoman, Marie Harf, also refused to call the operation part of the "war on terrorism."