Though the civilian leadership in the Obama Administration is continuing to insist that they’ve ruled out a ground war in Iraq, top Pentagon brass continue to indicate the exact opposite.
Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Gen. Martin Dempsey today said his “instinct at this point” is that the war will eventually require the “advisers,” US ground troops sent to Iraq, will have to engage in ground combat, particularly in the push to retake the major city of Mosul.
Gen. Dempsey went on to say that ISIS is successfully blending in to the Sunni population in towns along the outskirts of Baghdad, and that “indirect fire” from mortars and artillery against the Iraqi capital are virtually certain in the coming days.
He went on to say that last week’s decision to start using Apache helicopters in attacks on ISIS was a result of ISIS nearing Baghdad, and the US effort to try to protect the airport, saying it’s a vital US interest to keep the airport open.
Dempsey insisted he believes Mosul will be “the decisive battle” in the campaign, though other officials have indicated they don’t believe Iraq will even attempt to retake the city, ISIS’ largest, for at least a year.