Gen. Harrigian: US airstrikes alone will not destroy ISIL

Gen. Harrigian: US airstrikes alone will not destroy ISIL

Tue Sep 30, 2014 5:54AM GMT

US Air Force Maj. Gen. Jeffrey Harrigian believes that US airpower alone will not destroy the ISIL terrorist group as the bombing campaign continues in Iraq and Syria.

In a press conference on Monday, Harrigian, Air Force assistant deputy chief of staff for operations, also noted the terrorists are adjusting to the airstrikes and make it more difficult to target them.

“They are now dispersing themselves to allow themselves situations to be more survivable, if you will, which requires us to work harder to locate them, and then develop the situation to appropriately target them,” Harrigian said.

The general explained that the Air Force has been cooperating with Iraqi and Kurdish troops out in the field to determine target locations.

He said that the air raids prevented the terror network from massing forces on a large scale and disrupted the group’s ability to communicate with each other and command forces.

Since Aug. 8, there have been over 240 attacks in Iraq and Syria — 74 percent of them by the Air Force in Iraq, and 50 percent of them in Syria, according to the general.

The Pentagon launched the airstrikes against ISIL in Iraq last month and a US-led coalition began military campaign against the group in Syria earlier this month.

Meanwhile, US Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Martin Dempsey said that international troops would be deployed in Iraq to fight against ISIL if necessary.

The general told reporters he may eventually recommend boots on the ground and those forces would not necessarily be American forces.

President Barack Obama has repeatedly ruled out American boots on the ground in a combat role.

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