Despite praise from U.S. officials about recent airstrikes targeting Islamic militant group ISIS in Syria, a member of the terror group is taunting the U.S.-led coalition by describing the strikes as a failure.
"We've been ready for this for some time," said the Syrian ISIS fighter who spoke with CNN under the pseudonym Abu Talha. "We know that our bases are known because they're tracking us with radars and satellites, so we had backup locations."
Over the past week the U.S.-led coalition has launched strikes against ISIS targets such as mobile oil refineries and vehicles, according to CNN. But the 28-year-old ISIS fighter said those attacks will not stop ISIS.
"We have revenues other than oil. We have other avenues, and our finances are not going to stop just because of oil losses," he asserted. "They thought they knew everything. But thank God, they don't know anything. And God willing, we will defeat the infidels."
Talha told CNN that he was among the ISIS fighters who overran the city of Mosul in June where Christians facing death were force to flee. He explained that even if the airstrikes slow down ISIS, they won't be enough to stop the advance of an Islamic State in the Sunni Parts of Iraq and Syria.
"They hit us in some areas, and we advance in others," Talha added. "If we are pushed back in Iraq, we advance in northern Syria. These strikes cannot stop us, our support or our fighters."
In an interview with CBS' "60 Minutes" on Sunday, President Obama admitted that the U.S. had underestimated ISIS's threat in the beginning.
"That's true. That's absolutely true," said Obama when grilled about how the U.S. assessed the terror group in the interview.
"Jim Clappper has acknowledged that. I think they underestimated what had been taking place in Syria," he noted.
"Essentially what happened with ISIL was that you had al-Qaida in Iraq, which was a vicious group, but our Marines were able to quash with the help of Sunni tribes," Obama continued. "They went back underground, but over the past couple of years, during the chaos of the Syrian civil war, where essentially you had huge swaths of the country that are completely ungoverned, they were able to reconstitute themselves and take advantage of that chaos."
ISIS, Obama said, was then able to "attract foreign fighters who believed in their jihadist nonsense and traveled everywhere from Europe to the United States to Australia to other parts of the Muslim world, converging on Syria." As a result, Syria "became ground zero for jihadists around the world."
One ISIS defector, speaking to CNN under the name Abu Omar, confirmed what ISIS fighter Talha said about the group being prepared for the airstrikes.
"They almost entirely emptied out the headquarters," said Omar. "Some equipment they hid in civilian neighborhoods. Some they hid underground."
He also noted that the terror group got a lot of support from foreign fighters.
"The French, they have so much control. They're even more extreme than we are. They come from France, but it's as if they have been part of the 'Islamic State' for years," said the 29-year-old ISIS defector.
He explained that he had abandoned his wife and 3-year-old son to fight for ISIS, but the group's brutal beheadings and other acts of violence were too much for him.
"I used to hope that they would fix their mistakes," he said. "If they had, it wouldn't be like this."