After the sweeping losses suffered by the Democrats in the U.S. midterm elections, President Barack Obama gave a press conference Wednesday, speaking on a range of topics including immigration, energy, Islamic State, Syria and Iran.
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On Syria, Obama said that the focus is to not resolve the country’s civil war, but rather to focus on areas where Islamic State operates. Obama also said that he would begin working with the new Republican-controlled Congress on a new authorization for use of military force against Islamic State militants in Iraq and Syria.
Obama said that while it is "too early" to say whether the U.S. and its partners are winning against Islamic State militants, the group is "in a more vulnerable position." Obama stressed the campaign against the terrorist group in Iraq and Syria will be long and complex.
"ISIL is in a more vulnerable position and it is more difficult for them to manoeuvre than it was previously," he said
In Syria, the U.S. is working to get a more stable, effective cohesive moderate opposition to fight Islamic State, but its "number one mission" is getting the group out of Iraq.
On Iran, Obama said that it is still unclear whether the West can successfully conclude a deal with Iran over its nuclear program, saying the prognosis for an agreement should become clear in the next three to four weeks.
"There's a long tradition of mistrust between the two countries," Obama said, referring to the relationship between the United States and Iran.