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Secretary Kerry: "Basic strategy" to defeat ISIS is working

In an interview with CBS Evening News anchor Scott Pelley, John Kerry discusses how the Obama administration plans to defeat ISIS
John Kerry: "Basic strategy" to take down ISIS is working 02:23

PARIS -- The U.S. is working to put together a military alliance with Russia and France in the war on ISIS in its Syrian homeland. Secretary of State John Kerry told us he can foresee U.S. and Russian forces fighting alongside one another.

Secretary Kerry visited French President François Hollande Tuesday. Hollande will meet in Washington with President Obama next week and then with Russian President Putin.

Secretary of State John Kerry met with French President François Hollande

After meeting Hollande, Kerry sat down with CBS News. He calls ISIS by its Arabic acronym, Daesh.

Kerry: The basic strategy of destroying Daesh's center, its core, which is what we did with al Qaeda, is working. And al Qaeda was diminished as an entity that had the ability to do what it did in 9/11 through the protracted effort in Afghanistan and Pakistan and elsewhere in the Arabian peninsula. And Daesh sort of filed their void and now we have to do it to Daesh.

Pelley: We did that with an enormous ground invasion of Afghanistan. You know better than anyone that never in history has an air campaign accomplished the goals that you set out in this interview.

Kerry:Right, and there's no pretense here President Obama has never suggested ...

Pelley:How do you root them out of Syria?

Kerry:One of the lessons of Iraq is it that it doesn't have to be American soldiers who are on the ground in order to be able to fight the fight. It may take a little longer. It's tougher. Who knows? But if we don't empower them to have the control over their communities then when you leave, Daesh will move right back in.

Obama defends ISIS strategy after Paris attacks 04:39

Pelley:After Paris the question becomes, do we have time to wait for that strategy to work before we see this kind of thing in the Untied States?

Kerry:We are doing everything possible within the framework of homeland security. What we worry about is that for a terrorist -- you only have to -- if you're willing to die, you wanna strap a suicide vest around yourself and you wanna walk into a crowd and blow yourself up, you can choose almost anywhere to go do that. And everybody else who's in law enforcement trying to prevent it has to get every single thing right all the time. Twenty-four seven. Three sixty-five. That's a much tougher task.

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