Addressing the worsening security situation in Iraq and Syria, U.S. Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said the militant Islamic State group is beyond anything they've seen.
Speaking to reporters at a Pentagon briefing on Thursday, Hagel said he assessed the group, also known as ISIL and ISIS, as elaborate with good financial support.
"ISIL is as sophisticated and well-funded as any group that we've seen and they are beyond just a terrorist group."
Along with Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Martin Dempsey, Hagel stressed that U.S. military involvement in Iraq will continue, with the help of other allies, as the long-term threat from I-S is more dangerous than that from any other terrorist group.
He noted that combating the militant group will ultimately require political reform in Iraq, but added that it is possible to contain them, as the group seems to have lost momentum.
He also said I-S would eventually have to be defeated.
Regarding the mission to rescue American hostages, including journalist James Foley, who was captured by the group last month, Dempsey defended the operation, describing it as "flawless."
He said they failed to recover the hostages because they had been moved to a different area.
The officials said the U.S. "will not relent in their efforts to bring their citizens home and their captors to justice."
Sohn Jung-in, Arirang News.