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Dempsey: U.S. ‘building pressure’ on Islamic State

Reuters reports that “U.S. efforts against Islamic State militants in Iraq are ‘a drumbeat, a steady building pressure’ on several fronts that will ultimately enable Iraqi forces to launch a counteroffensive at a time of their choosing, the top U.S. military officer said on Thursday.”  

“General Martin Dempsey, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said U.S. forces were not sitting idly in the key Iraqi cities of Baghdad or Arbil waiting until spring to launch an offensive but were actively working to weaken Islamic State in several areas.”  

“‘When you ask me what are the prospects for a spring offensive, we’re working with Iraqis, military and civilian leaders, to determine the pace at which we will encourage them and enable them to do a counteroffensive,’ Dempsey said. ‘But I want to make sure I also highlight the fact that this isn’t about … waiting till the spring to do anything.'”

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