Kerry: U.S. Not At War With ISIS, "It's A Major Counter-Terrorism Operation"


In an interview with CNN's Elise Labott in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia, Secretary of State John Kerry would not say the U.S. is at war with ISIS.

"What we are doing is engaging in a very significant counter-terrorism operation," Kerry said on Thursday. "It's going to go on for some period of time. If somebody wants to think about it as being a war with ISIL, they can do so, but the fact is it's a major counter-terrorism operation that will have many different moving parts."

In a separate interview with CBS News State Department Correspondent Margaret Brennan, Kerry said "war is the wrong terminology" to describe U.S. operations against ISIS.

"We're engaged in a major counterterrorism operation, and it's going to be a long-term counterterrorism operation. I think war is the wrong terminology and analogy but the fact is that we are engaged in a very significant global effort to curb terrorist activity," Kerry said.

According to the Associated Press, Kerry was in Saudi Arabia to persuade officials from across the Mideast and Turkey to put aside longstanding rivalries to more vigorously pursue the Islamic State.

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