US defense chief says anti-ISIL strategy working
Chuck Hagel said despite mixed outcomes in the day-to-day fight, the overall strategy against ISIL is making progress.

The U.S. overall strategy against the ISIL terror group is making progress despite some setbacks in Iraq, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel said Thursday.

"We believe that our strategy is working," Hagel said at a press conference. "There will be mixed and various outcomes daily. But this is not a daily measurement; this is an overall, strategic, longer term measurement of how well they’re doing."

Although ISIL has managed to control Mount Sinjar and large swaths of territory in Iraq's Anbar province is under the control of the militant group, Hagel again ruled out the use of U.S. ground forces but left the door open for employing special forces in the fight.

"I’ve not had any discussions with any of the commanders based on that,” Hagel said referring to the use of special forces. "They feel confident that what we’re doing is working."

In calls with his Iraqi counterpart, defense minister Khaled al-Obeidi, Hagel said he was assured of al-Obedi's commitment to fight ISIL as the two talked about ways to train, equip and prepare Iraqi security forces for upcoming offensives against the terror group.

Last Modified: 2014-10-24 09:56:28
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