U.S. officials admit that the Islamic State is a greater threat than previous terrorist groups
By Catholic Online (NEWS CONSORTIUM)
8/26/2014 (2 years ago)
Catholic Online (www.catholic.org)
According to a report done by ABC news, U.S. military officials have said that fighters from the Islamic State are "incredible fighters" who are merely "tactically withdrawing" in the face of new U.S. airstrikes.
President Obama has authorized aerial reconnaissance over Islamic State fighters in Syria, a move which has led some to predict that the president will soon use airstrikes in that country to stop the spread of the Islamic State.
LOS ANGELES, CA (Catholic Online) - The Islamic State fighters who have conquered much of Iraq are a much more formidable opponent than the enemies that America faced last time in Iraq-the splinter group of al-Qaeda that went to Iraq during the 2003-2011 war.
"These guys aren't just bugging out, they're tactically withdrawing," an anonymous official told ABC News. "Very professional, well trained, motivated and equipped. They operate like a state with a military. These aren't the same guys we fought in OIF (Operation Iraqi Freedom), who would just scatter when you dropped a bomb near them."
A map showing the extent of territory that the Islamic State currently claims as a Caliphate.
The Islamic State has taken control of large portions of northwestern Iraq and northern Syria, and has taken vast amounts of money, and military equipment from both Iraqi and Syrian military forces.
"They tried to push out as far as they thought they could and were fully prepared to pull back a little bit when we beat them back with airstrikes around Irbil, and they were fine with that, and ready to hold all of the ground they have now," the official said.
A second U.S. official reported: "They're incredible fighters. ISIS teams in many places use special operations [tactics, techniques and procedures]."
U.S. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel said as much during a press conference last week, saying that the Islamic State is "beyond anything we've seen."
One of the U.S. officials said that the Islamic State may have learned its sophisticated military methods from the Chechens.
Many officials in the U.S. are eager to engage the Islamic State in ground combat. "ISIS and their kind must be destroyed," one of the anonymous officials said following the murder of American journalist James Foley.
The deputy national security adviser for strategic communications, Ben Rhodes, aid that President Barack Obama is focused on "containing" the Islamic State where it is, and supporting counter-offensives by Iraqi and Kurdish forces.
"We have to be clear that this is a deeply rooted organization . . . It is going to take time, a long time, to fully evict them from the communities where they operate," Rhodes said. "In the long term, we'll be working with our partners to defeat this organization."
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