Biden says fight against IS will take 'long time'

 11 Mar 2016 - 0:00

Biden says fight against IS will take 'long time'
King Abdullah II of Jordan (2-L) and US Vice President Joe Biden (2-R) attend a military exercise at Zarqa city East of Amman, Jordan, 10 March 2016.


Amman: US Vice President Joe Biden said Thursday during a visit to American troops training Jordan's military that it will take a "long time" to defeat the Islamic State jihadist group.

"We are going to defeat ISIL (IS). They are already on their heels. It's going to take a long time, going to take a long time," he told the troops at a training centre outside the city of Zarqa, northeast of Jordan's capital Amman.

"They are no existential threat to the United States. We've got you and the people you are training, the finest military tactics in the world," Biden said on a joint visit with King Abdullah II.

Biden earlier held talks at the royal palace with the king, whose country has been a member of a US-led coalition fighting IS in Syria and Iraq since 2014.

The king stressed the need to "support the Iraqi government's efforts in fighting against Daesh", using an Arabic acronym for IS, the palace said in a statement.

It said Biden and King Abdullah also held talks on the conflict in neighbouring Syria and the stalled Israeli-Palestinian peace process.

Biden, winding up a regional tour which has also taken him to Israel, the Palestinian territories and the United Arab Emirates, discussed "efforts for peace between Palestinians and Israelis based on a two-state solution".

The king called for an end to "Israeli violations" of Christian and Muslim holy sites in Jerusalem, the palace said.

Biden's wife, Jill, on Thursday visited the Zaatari refugee camp that is home to some 80,000 Syrian refugees in northern Jordan.

The kingdom says it is hosting 1.4 million Syrian refugees -- equal to 20 percent of its population and more than twice as many as the 600,000 figure given by the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Syria's five-year conflict has killed more than 270,000 people and displaced millions.