​Did Syria ignore ISIS threat on its own territory?

The radical group the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, whose fighters recently swept through central Iraq, had first dug in in Eastern Syria, yet their forces did not seem to be targeted by the Syrian army the way other rebel groups were.

CBS News correspondent Elizabeth Palmer spoke with Syrian Deputy Foreign Minister Faisal Mekdad about the extremist group.

Elizabeth Palmer: ISIS has now proved itself to be the best disciplined, the best armed and the best funded of all the groups fighting and therefore the most dangerous. Why did the Syrian government not attack their headquarters in Raq' Qah until last week?

Faisal Mekdad: We cannot fight everywhere. But these are our enemies, I assure you. And be confident that the rumors being made by, I mean, silly people somewhere, that there is an alliance between the Syrian government and these groups is absolutely crazy and is morally unacceptable.

Elizabeth Palmer: But, people legitimately are asking if you see them as a priority. Why weren't you bombing them three months ago?

Faisal Mekdad: Because we cannot bombard everywhere, I mean...

Elizabeth Palmer: No, but they were the baddest of the bad guys.

Faisal Mekdad: Yes.

Elizabeth Palmer: You'd think they'd be a target.

Faisal Mekdad: But when these groups are fighting in Kessab in the north of Syria and in Aleppo, in the middle of Aleppo, and around Damascus and so on, then we have to know where to fight. So this is a matter of time. It is absolutely not a matter of accepting such a thing. We are totally against ISIS and all other terrorist groups.

Syrian soldiers flash the sign for victory as they drive a tank in al-Sarkha village in the Qalamun mountains, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters April 14, 2014.
Syrian soldiers flash the sign for victory as they drive a tank in al-Sarkha village in the Qalamun mountains, northeast of Damascus, after taking control of the village from rebel fighters April 14, 2014.
AFP/Getty Images


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