Obama heads to Pentagon for meetings on Islamic State

FILE - In this Monday, June 16, 2014 file photo, demonstrators chant pro-Islamic State group slogans as they wave the group's flags in front of the provincial government headquarters in Mosul, Iraq. A year after the Islamic State group seized the city of Mosul and spread south, effectively dividing the country and plunging it into chaos, Iraq is struggling with a staggering political, economic and humanitarian crisis it may take generations to recover from. Corrosive sectarian politics, millions of displaced, and plummeting oil prices have dented its ability to fight an enemy bent on conquest. (AP Photo, File)

WASHINGTON (AP) – President Barack Obama concedes that confronting and destroying the Islamic State group will be a long-term effort, but he says the U.S. and its allies are making progress and have reduced the militants’ foothold in Iraq.

Obama made his remarks after a rare visit to the Pentagon Monday to get an update on the campaign against Islamic State fighters.

He says the United States is doing a better job of preventing large-scale attacks on the U.S. homeland. But he says so-called lone-wolf terrorists or small terrorism cells are harder to detect and U.S. national security must remain vigilant.

He met with more than 30 Pentagon officials and national security advisers, including Secretary of Defense Ash Carter and Gen. Martin Dempsey, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff.

(Copyright 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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