Biden says defeating ISIL will ‘take long time’

Joe Biden also told US troops in Jordan that ISIL militants don’t pose an existential threat to the United States.

King Abdullah II of Jordan greeting US vice president Joe Biden upon his arrival at Al Husseinia Palace in Amman, Jordan on March 10. 2016. EPA/Jordan news agency handout
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ZARQA, JORDAN // US vice president Joe Biden on Thursday told US troops who are training the Jordanian military that ISIL extremists are “already on their heels”. However, he emphasised that defeating them will take a long time.

Mr Biden also told American military instructors that ISIL militants don’t pose an existential threat to the United States.

The vice president arrived in Jordan on Thursday on the last stop of his Middle East tour, during which he has met the leaders of the UAE, Israel and the Palestinian territories.

In the capital of Amman, he met with King Abdullah II, a key western military ally.

Washington has scaled up military aid to Jordan in recent months in line with the kingdom’s central role in the fight against ISIL.

The vice president and the king flew by helicopter to the Joint Training Centre, a military compound near the town of Zarqa, where they viewed a flyover that included two F-16s and eight helicopters, among them Blackhawks and Cobras.

Addressing US troops at a separate event, he pledged, “We are going to defeat ISIL.”

“They are already on their heels,” he said of the extremists. “It’s going to take a long time, going to take a long time. They are no existential threat to the United States because we’ve got you and the people you are training [and] the finest military tactics in the world.”

As part of the deepening military cooperation, the US last week gave Jordan eight Blackhawk helicopters to help boost border protection. An additional eight Blackhawks are in the pipeline.

* Associated Press