White House officials have a slightly different solution to defeating ISIS: Don't kill their fighters. Instead, maybe help them find work.
Marie Harf, State Department spokesperson, appeared on MSNBC’s "Meet the Press" on Monday night to discuss new strategies to fight ISIS.
She said she thinks the White House should look at other means to defeat ISIS than only killing members of the group.
“We cannot win this war by killing them; we cannot kill our way out of this war,” Harf said.
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ISIS, a terrorist group operating in parts of Iraq and Syria, has killed about 24,000 Iraqi civilians, including women and children, according to a UN report released in October 2014.
In November 2014, the UN Independent International Commission of Inquiry on Syria, a human rights group, found that ISIS members committed war crimes and crimes against humanity, violating international law.
While on "Meet the Press," Harf said the White House should not solely look to the use of violence to take out ISIS militants, but also examine the reasons why people decide to join the jhadist group.
"We can work with countries around the world to help improve their governance," Harf said. "We can help them build their economies so they can have job opportunities for these people."
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Harf’s statement comes after video surfaced on Sunday showing Islamic State members beheading a group of Coptic Christians, a predominately Egyptian denomination of Christianity.
White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest condemned the killings of the 21 individuals in a White House statement, but did not use the terms Christian, Islam or Muslim.
While some foreign leaders, like Pope Francis and British Prime Minister David Cameron, use religious terms to discuss the war with ISIS, officials at the White House said they will not invoke religion when talking about the Islamic State.
“We're treating them as terrorists,” a senior official at the While House said on Monday. "We call them our enemies and we’ll be treating them as such."