A high-level military official and chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff in the U.S. has predicted that the fight against the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria will take up to four years. Army General Martin Dempsey made his statement in a news conference in Washington.
Despite U.S.-led efforts to thwart the terrorist organisation, ISIS forces reportedly continue to advance in some areas and maintain control of vast parts of Iraq and eastern Syria. The U.S. began launching airstrikes against ISIS militants, but challenges still remain as the United Nations recently released a report about ISIS stocking weapons to allow them to keep on fighting up to two years.
Intelligence Undersecretary Mike Vickers agreed with Dempsey's statement as it may take a long time for coalition forces to defeat ISIS. Dempsey had earlier suggested the deployment of more U.S. troops in Africa and Europe as part of the "three or four-year campaign" against the militants in the Middle East, according to Military News.
ISIS has released a video several days ago showing one of the militants standing by the severed head of U.S. aid worker and former soldier Peter Kassig. Political analysts and terrorism experts have described the video as a sign of desperation on the part of the fighters as coalition forces intensify attacks.
According to reports, the U.S. currently has 1,400 troops in Iraq who are mostly taking on advisory roles to Iraqi and Kurdish forces fighting ISIS militants on the ground. U.S. President Barack Obama earlier has ordered the deployment of more troops to Iraq in the next 30 to 45 days to help train and advise Iraqi soldiers.
Meanwhile, the U.S. military has released new videos of its airstrikes against ISIS on Nov 20. The U.S. Military Central Command has posted five videos showing the airstrikes against two tunnels, a building and bunkers in Iraq. In a public statement, CENCOM said the airstrikes were part of an operation to eliminate ISIS militants, the threat they pose to the region and the international community. Mr Obama will reportedly consider the deployment of ground troops to fight ISIS if the group will begin acquiring nuclear weapons.
(Source: YouTube/US Central Command)