“It’s Going To Take Years”: US Air Force Calls For Ground Troops To “Occupy And Govern” Iraq, Syria

Tuesday, November 10, 2015
By Paul Martin

by Tyler Durden

The U.S.-led military coalition fighting Islamic State militants is weakening the group’s hold in Iraq and Syria even after Gulf Arab allies scaled back airstrikes, though ground forces are needed to retake territory, senior U.S. Air Force officials said.

The coalition’s air campaign has killed thousands of fighters, including key leaders, and pushed back militants by hitting control and training centers as well as equipment and storage areas, U.S. Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James told reporters Tuesday. Occupying or governing land will require “boots on the ground” including the Iraqi army, Syrian opposition fighters and Kurdish forces, which the U.S. is trying to train and equip, she said.

“It’s going to take years” to fight Islamic State, James said at the Dubai Air Show. “Ultimately, this area requires a political solution as well.”

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