U.N. Ambassador Power says U.S. ‘chipping away’ at ISIS

09:11 - Source: CNN
U.N. Ambassador: 'We're chipping away' at ISIS
Washington CNN —  

The U.S. ambassador to the United Nations Friday morning defended the Obama administration’s strategy in combating ISIS, telling CNN’s Chris Cuomo that the United States is “chipping away” at the terror group.

“We’re in a much stronger position than we were a year ago,” Samantha Power said on “New Day.” “We’re chipping away.”

Her comments come as ISIS fighters continue to besiege Ramadi amid growing worries that the Iraqi city, which lies just 70 miles west of Baghdad, could fall.

Some Republicans are pointing to the situation in Ramadi to express criticism that U.S. officials are minimizing setbacks.

Arizona Republican Sen. John McCain charged that Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey had downplayed the likely fall of Ramadi by describing it on Thursday as “not symbolic in any way,” among other points.

“Disregarding the strategic importance of Ramadi is a denial of reality,” McCain said in a statement.

RELATED: U.S.: Fall of Ramadi wouldn’t doom campaign to push out ISIS

But despite ISIS’s advances in the key city, Power maintained that the military strategy to combat ISIS, also known as ISIL, is working.

“If you look in Iraq at the population centers that ISIL controlled when this campaign started back in July, when the President ordered trainers and advisers to go, ISIL now controls 25 percent less territory than they did back then,” she said.

When asked about Congress’s failure to pass an agreement to authorize military force against ISIS, Power said that although an authorization would be welcomed, the decision to fight the terror group ultimately lies with President Barack Obama.

“President Obama has the legal authority to carry out the mission that we have embarked upon,” Power said, “but we are always stronger as a country when all parts of our government—in a bipartisan manner—are supporting our troops and trainers out in the field.”