US President Barack Obama said in a press conference on Wednesday (5 November) that it is still too early to boast that the US-led military coalition has gained the upper hand against the Islamic State (Isis) in Iraq and Syria.
"I think it's too early to say whether we are winning because as I said at the outset of the ISIL [Isis] campaign, this is going to be a long-term plan," said Obama.
Despite downplaying the success of the US-led military coalition against IS, Obama says the militant group is "in a more vulnerable position," stressing that the campaign against IS will be long and complex.
"ISIL [Isis] is in a more vulnerable position and it is more difficult for them to manoeuvre than it was previously," said Obama.
Obama will be working alongside the new Republican-controlled Congress on a new authorization for use of military force against IS militants in Iraq and Syria.
He said the mission in Syria is not to resolve the country's civil war, but rather to develop a moderate and cohesive opposition to fight the "number one mission", which is to get the militant group out of Iraq.
On the topic of Iran, the US President said it still remains uncertain whether a deal can be concluded with the nation over its nuclear program, however, it will all be clarified in the next three to four weeks.
Referring to the political ties between Iran and the United States, Obama said: "There's a long tradition of mistrust between the two countries."