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Pentagon: Islamic state militants will regroup

BY ROBERT BURNS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- U.S. airstrikes have helped Iraqi and Kurdish forces regain their footing in Iraq, but the well-resourced Islamic State militants can be expected to regroup and stage a new offensive, Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

Speaking alongside Hagel at a Pentagon news conference, Army Gen. Martin Dempsey said that although the Islamic State group can be contained it cannot be defeated without attacking it in Syria.

Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said this would not necessarily require airstrikes by the U.S., although Hagel appeared to leave open that possibility by telling reporters, "We're looking at all options."

Citing the recapture this week of the Mosul Dam that had been in Islamic State militants' hands, Hagel credited U.S. bombing as well as U.S. arms supplies to Iraqi and Kurdish forces and international humanitarian assistance to the thousands of Iraqis displaced across northern Iraq.

"Overall, these operations have stalled ISIL's momentum and enabled Iraqi and Kurdish forces to regain their footing and take the initiative," Hagel said, using an alternate acronym for the Islamic State group that is an outgrowth of al-Qaida.

The U.S. has restricted its military action to Iraq, but concerns have increased as the Islamic militant group extends its reach from safe havens in Syria across the Iraqi border.

Dempsey, who served multiple tours in Iraq during the 2003-2011 war, was pointed in his comments about what it would take to ultimately defeat the Islamic State group.

"They can be contained, not in perpetuity," Dempsey said. "This is an organization that has an apocalyptic, end-of-days strategic vision and which will eventually have to be defeated.

"To your question, can they be defeated without addressing that part of their organization which resides in Syria? The answer is no. That will have to be addressed on both sides of what is essentially at this point a nonexistent border.

"And that will come when we have a coalition in the region that takes on the task of defeating ISIS over time," Dempsey added, using another acronym for the group. "ISIS will only truly be defeated when it's rejected by the 20 million disenfranchised Sunni that happen to reside between Damascus and Baghdad."

Neither Hagel nor Dempsey gave any indication of an imminent change in the U.S. military approach in Iraq, which President Barack Obama has said will include further airstrikes but not the introduction of American ground forces.

The Pentagon on Thursday said U.S. warplanes had launched six airstrikes overnight to help solidify Iraqi and Kurdish forces' efforts to retake and maintain control of the Mosul Dam.

It said the latest strikes destroyed or damaged three Humvees, multiple roadside bombs and another insurgent vehicle. The attacks brought to 90 the number of U.S. airstrikes in northern Iraq since Aug. 8. Fifty-seven of the 90 have been in support of Iraqi forces near the Mosul Dam.

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coopdabomb August 22 2014 at 6:46 AM

osama obama has finally put us in a position that we as American's won't be safe in the U.S.

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3 replies
rjen164497 August 22 2014 at 7:35 AM

ISIS will come accross our unsecure border. I would guess they are already here and still coming. Of course golf is more important than secure borders.

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1 reply
d44dell rjen164497 August 22 2014 at 4:18 PM

Obama is more worried about a thug that beat up a police officer than the border !!!
this is just crazy...

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warning.warning.warning August 22 2014 at 10:58 AM

Attention all Americans ---
Learn to do the Obama kneeing bow.
You WILL follow Muslim rule or die.
Your President has worked very hard to help build ISIS growth and soon they will be here.....

Flag Reply +10 rate up
2 replies
are.we.better.off.now warning.warning.warning August 22 2014 at 11:03 AM

Remember when President Bush
"took the fight to our enemy"?
Well,
The enemy is now in the Whitehouse!

Flag Reply +3 rate up
blackbelt.ron warning.warning.warning August 22 2014 at 11:07 AM

Are you saying that Obama deciding to pull all our military out of Iraq was a bad idea and helped ISIS grow stronger?
Don't tell me
Obama did that to America!

Flag Reply +2 rate up
1 reply
d44dell blackbelt.ron August 22 2014 at 4:16 PM

Yes, that is exactly what was said !!!! and YES it is Obama fault on
what is going to happen in the USA .... if your don't believe
it which I hope it dosn't maybe you people that voted him
and his people in might finally open your eyes...

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Jerry August 22 2014 at 8:56 AM

Maybe if Isis came here and blew up a few golf courses we might see some action from the WH.

Flag Reply +6 rate up
Chucky1 August 22 2014 at 7:06 AM

This is a Middle East problem and should be resolved by them. The policy of containment in where we help the Kurds and Iraq is the only choice we have.
History has shown that frequent involvement by "foreigners" has done little to bring ever lasting peace to a region that is govern by ethnic groups and tribes.

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5 replies
Jerry August 22 2014 at 8:49 AM

Rescue attempt in Syria was bogus. The government is trying to convince the American people that an attempt was made in early July to rescue James Foley et al but were unsuccessful because the hostages were moved. Why do I think this is bogus? Because they government claims that several news organizations were going to release information about the strike yet they would not identify the news outlets. The second point is that any engagement with Isis would be fodder for Isis's propaganda machine. They would have claimed victory because the mission by the Americans was unsuccessful, that the Americans were in Syria with boots on the ground. Maybe I'm just an old skeptic..but it smells like a bad fish. Last item is that neither AOL nor Huffington Post* gave coverage to the story. *Huffington Post did a story but there was no comments section for responses.

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1 reply
Bill Jerry August 22 2014 at 3:02 PM

Exactly the same thing I thought.

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billcdaly August 22 2014 at 9:42 AM

Armed with British passports, it's only a matter of time before they travel here and seek to destroy us.
Better to destroy them first over there.

Flag Reply +3 rate up
Tom Harrell August 22 2014 at 7:45 AM

So, What are our Military Leaders telling us ?
"There's NOTHING we can Do " ? ? ?
A "Half a $TRILLION dollars a Year For our Military, and there's "Nothing we can Do" ? ?

Flag Reply +3 rate up
2 replies
fox12ga Tom Harrell August 22 2014 at 8:27 AM

obama has tied their hands He has eliminated most of the military leadership and relpaced it with his own people He is activly encouraging muslims and illegals to join the servive and cutting the budget. While finacing the muslim brotherhood . also putting muslim aid in high places in his administration.

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1 reply
sprayman55 fox12ga August 22 2014 at 10:59 AM

I guess Chuck Hagel must have turned into a liberal democrat according to you.

Flag +1 rate up
hifibear Tom Harrell August 22 2014 at 4:05 PM

The solution is simple. Exterminate every one of them, their children, their wives, et al. They are vermin, not human beings.

Flag Reply 0 rate up
mackerace August 22 2014 at 10:00 AM

The problem is that Obama gets no respect....or help. An example...the Commander in Chief is trying to get back to Washington....and the golf group in front of Obama won't even let him play through. Sheesh.

Flag Reply +2 rate up
ZMAN August 22 2014 at 7:41 AM

But how is this possible, they are the JV.

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1 reply
jrb359 ZMAN August 22 2014 at 10:39 AM

The president acts like he has nothing to fear!

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