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Petraeus: Don't Overestimate ISIS in Iraq

The former American commander says the militants don't have the numbers that al Qaeda did in 2007.

Gen. David Petraeus says ISIS should not be overestimated and has “nowhere near” the strength of al Qaeda in Iraq at the height of the war in that country. Petraeus, the former top American commander in Iraq and Afghanistan, told a crowd in Denver on Thursday that President Barack Obama made a compelling case for destroying ISIS militants. He said that the battle will probably outlast Obama’s administration, according to NBC affiliate KUSA. He also said that ISIS in Syria is “far more complex.”

But in Iraq, the general said, ISIS “should not be overestimated in many respects — it has nowhere near the roots, the numbers and the structure that al Qaeda in Iraq and the associated Sunni insurgents had when we launched the surge” in 2007.