National security adviser Susan Rice said Sunday that recent advances by the Islamic State along Syria's border with Turkey and in Iraq should not be seen as a failure of the U.S. strategy against the terrorist group.
"This is going to take time," she said on NBC's "Meet the Press." "It can't be judged by merely what happens in one particular town or one particular region. The American people need to understand that our aim here is long-term degradation and building the capacity of our partners."
Rice vehemently denied that the United States has coordinated in any way with Iran to combat the Islamic State, a group commonly referred to with the acronyms ISIS and ISIL.
"We are not in coordination or direct consultation with the Iranians about any aspect of the fight against ISIL," she said. "It is a fact that, in Iraq, they also are supporting the Iraqis against ISIL, but we are not coordinating. We are doing this very differently and independently."
Rice said the United States has developed a coalition of 60 countries, including "core allies in the gulf region of the Arab world," with a goal of helping Iraqi forces and moderate Syrian rebels contain the Islamic State. She said President Obama is not considering deploying U.S. ground forces to the region to take over the fight.
"The president has been very plain that this is not a campaign that requires or even would benefit from American ground troops in combat again," she said, adding that top Iraqi leaders have made clear that they do not want U.S. ground forces in the region. "We are there to help build up the Iraqi capacity to sustain their territory and to hold their ground."
Rice also said the Obama administration is holding firm on its decision not to establish a no-fly zone in Syria, something Turkey has requested as a condition of joining the fight.
"We don't see it at this point as essential to the goal of degrading and ultimately destroying ISIL, but we'll continue to talk to the Turks and entertain any specific proposals that they may have," Rice said.