Engel: Airstrikes Against ISIS Won't Work "Unless You Have Forces On Ground" To Take Territory


NBC chief foreign correspondent Richard Engel reports.

LUKE RUSSERT, MSNBC: Richard, from the conversations I've had on Capitol Hill, if in fact there was a great offensive against the Islamic State, every suggested before U.S. air strikes and Iraqi forces and perhaps Iranian backed could take Mosul, they had to first Ramadi. How could this be a setback for something that's not symbolically important?

RICHARD ENGEL, NBC: It doesn't seem to be symbolic in any way. There are questions about the overall strategy. The strategy doesn't seem to be working. The strategy is to use allies on the ground to theoretically use allies on the ground. and to continue air strikes. Air strikes have been effective in certain places.

Overall, no, the strategy doesn't seem to be work. ISIS continues to expand, continues to take new territory. First taking Ramadi few days ago then moving. It shows the basic flaw in this strategy that no matter how many air strikes you do, unless you have effective forces on the ground to move in and take territory, then the air strikes aren't going to be able to make lasting differences. that's what happened in Ramadi. Iraqi army didn't stay and fight. It's still not really loyal to the Iraqi government that's been neglected. it feels corrupt. and in Syria, the Syrian government has been weakened by several years of civil war. and really, who's partner are they? A U.S. partner? It remains unclear.

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