Secretary of State John Kerry defended the Obama administration's policy in the Middle East and North Africa, arguing the U.S. has a sense of "urgency" in its fight against the Islamic State.

"Yes, there is a strategy," Kerry said Saturday during a speech at the Brookings Institute.

"We believe that in the end, Daesh is going to be defeated," he added, referring to the Islamic State by an alternative name.

Kerry called for a "unified Syria" and vowed to work to establish "elections with fair, full transparency" that would be supervised by the United Nations.

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